What an exciting moment! Because of jealousy with the religious leaders, “they arrested the apostles and put them in the public prison” (Acts 5:18). I think the apostles had a very different view of prison than most of us in the West. They knew their purpose and they knew the power of God in them. Whether in prison or out, they were confident of the outcome. “During the night, an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and brought them out, and said, “Go and stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this Life” (5:19-20).
Going right back into that hostile environment for most of us would be very intimidating. Having the angel of the Lord open those prison doors may have been a shock to the guards and rulers, but for the apostles it was a confirmation that God was with them. On top of that, the command to “GO” back and “speak to the people all the words of this Life” was another proof of the power of God through the Word of God. Confidence is never in ourselves, but in what God has given us in His Word and by His Spirit for doing His will.
The apostles are challenged again before the council. Their authority to persevere was in the Word and the Holy Spirit. That is why they answered the council, “We must obey God rather than men” (5:29). This is followed by another reminder to the rulers of God’s purpose in the death of Jesus, and that through Him God will “give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey Him” (5:31-32).
Are you a witness to the power on God by living “the words of this Life”?
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