Shortly after the beginning of the church, Peter healed a certain lame man. The healing was witnessed by many.
“And all the people saw him walking and praising God. Then they knew that it was he who sat begging alms…and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.” Acts 3:9-10
Then Peter went on to preach to the people that the lame man was healed by faith in Jesus who had been crucified, buried, and then resurrected. He continued by stating that Jesus’ suffering and death had been foretold by the prophets.
Such preaching and teaching did not set well with the Sadducees.
“Now as they spoke to the people, the priests, the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees came upon them, being greatly disturbed that they taught the people and preached in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. And they laid hands on them, and put them in custody…” Acts 4:1-3
The same ones who condemned Jesus to death demanded that Peter justify his authority.
“And it came to pass, on the next day, that their rulers, elders, and scribes, as well as Annas the high priest…were gathered together at Jerusalem. And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, ‘By what power or by what name have you done this?’” Acts 4:5-7
Peter boldly proclaimed that his power came from the resurrected Christ.
Now when the Sadducees saw the boldness of Peter and John, they realized that they had been with Jesus. In addition they themselves had witnessed the healing of the lame man. They then sent Peter and John from the council so they could discuss the matter privately.
“What shall we do to these men…For, indeed, that a notable miracle has been done through them is evident to all… and we cannot deny it. But so that it spreads no further among the people, let us severely threaten them, that from now on they speak to no man in this name.” Acts 4:16-17
“So they called them and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.” Acts 4:18
However, Peter and John were not to be silenced. Being filled with the Holy Spirit they performed many miracles and drew great numbers of followers to the dismay of the Sadducees.
“Then the high priest rose up, and all those who were with him (which is the sect of the Sadducees), and they were filled with indignation, and laid their hands on the apostles and put them in the common prison.” Acts 5:17-18
But an angel opened the prison doors and brought them out and instructed them to continue with their teaching and preaching. Subsequently they were recaptured and set before the Sanhedrin again.
“…they set them before the council. And the high priest asked them saying, ‘Did we not strictly command you not to teach in this name? And look, you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine…’” Acts 5:27-28
But Peter and the apostles responded by saying that they ought to obey God rather than men. They had no intention of easing up on proclaiming what they had personally witnessed relative to Christ. Then they really stunned the Sanhedrin with their accusation.
“The God of our fathers raised up Jesus whom you murdered by hanging on a tree…Him God has exalted to His right hand…” Acts 5:30-31
Upon hearing Peter say they ought to obey God rather than men the council (Sanhedrin) was not only frustrated but furious. They convened again to decide how to silence Peter and the Apostles. And once again they met behind closed doors to decide on a strategy to suppress the truth.
They decided to let the new movement run its course hoping it would self-destruct.
History revealed and recorded the growth of the church.
So even though the formal sect of the Sadducees may have disappeared, their doctrine and agenda lives on. Many remember them for their lying, hypocrisy, and blasphemy.
The primary problem, however, with the Sadducees both then and now was/is their zealous attempts to restrict freedom of speech, especially relative to the truth of Christ and in fact all Christian doctrine