But many who heard the message believed, and the number of men grew to about five thousand. (Acts 4:4)
Based on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s book, The Great Gatsby, the classic movie tells the story of a man who struggles from poverty to great wealth in order to reclaim a past love. Jay Gatsby’s money has been made by bootlegging, but he longs to be respectable. He gives lavish, decadent parties for hundreds of people in hopes that Daisy will appear at one, and his true identity is a mystery, even unknown to most of his guests.
The Sanhedrin were angry that Peter and John were converting thousands to belief in Christ. It’s likely they felt threatened when they saw the number of Christ’s followers increase. They wanted to know the true identity of those who were drawing so many to them. When the elders, priests, and rulers asked Peter and John on whose power and authority they were healing and preaching, Peter reminded them of Jesus and their rejection of Him.
Even though some were skeptical or suspicious, Gatsby’s rowdy guests found a source for the entertainment they wanted, and they filled his mansion for raucous gatherings. Similarly, those observing the miracles and hearing the teachings of Peter and John chose to join that body of believers. Although the Sadducees objected and the entertainment was very different, the number of the faithful grew, as well as the number of guests at His party.
Knowing the saving grace of Jesus, decide to invite all who will come to His party.
Hally Franz is a former high school guidance counselor, turned stay-at-home mom. She enjoys being a 4-H leader, church secretary, book club member, and traveler.