Resources » Asbury Bible Commentary » Part III: The New Testament » ACTS » Commentary » II. Jewish Outreach And Opposition (3:1–9:31)

II. Jewish Outreach And Opposition (3:1–9:31)

Luke shows the impact of the Christian community and its new experience of God upon the Jewish community of Jerusalem and its environs together with the response and reaction of the Jews and their leaders. At first there is great positive response by the Jewish people, contrasted with the animosity of the Sadducees who repeatedly take action against the Christians for their proclamation of the Resurrection. Then the synagogues, under the leadership of the Pharisees, enter into the picture, and Christians are opposed on the more serious issues of the role of the Law of Moses and the sacrificial cultus of the temple.

Luke also portrays the outreach of the Christians to the more marginalized members of the Jewish community. After the initial outreach to “pure” Jews (3:11-8:4), those who, by any definition, would be included in the old covenant community of God's people, the witness extends to questionable “half-Jews,” such as Samaritans and proselytes (e.g., the Ethiopian eunuch), who would not have been welcomed into the communities of more conservative Jews (8:5-40).