Memory Text: “When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13, NIV).
The greatest barrier Jesus faced with His followers was their preconceived opinions. The disciples took little notice of what Jesus said if it did not fit in with their own ideas of who He should be. Right up to the time of His ascension, the disciples still quizzed Jesus about freeing Israel from the Romans.
It was only after ten days of prayer and close fellowship in the presence of God that dominant preconceptions were finally beginning to be replaced with the truth, and the disciples were ready to hear what God told them. This paved the way for the incredible events at that first Pentecost after the death of Jesus.
Of course, the church still faced many challenges, especially from local religious leaders, some of whom were just as determined to stop the church as they were to stop Jesus.
Thus, in this week’s lesson, we will see the great- controversy theme played out in different ways. We will see it manifested openly, as those in power are inspired by Satan to repress the truth. But we will also see it played out in a subtler but more crucial area: the human heart.