Week of June 17 - Day 3

Day 3 Read: Acts 5:17-32

But the high priest rose up, and all who were with him (that is, the party of the Sadducees), and filled with jealousy 18 they arrested the apostles and put them in the public prison. 19 But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and brought them out, and said, 20 “Go and stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this Life.” 21 And when they heard this, they entered the temple at daybreak and began to teach.

Now when the high priest came, and those who were with him, they called together the council, all the senate of the people of Israel, and sent to the prison to have them brought. 22 But when the officers came, they did not find them in the prison, so they returned and reported,23 “We found the prison securely locked and the guards standing at the doors, but when we opened them we found no one inside.” 24 Now when the captain of the temple and the chief priests heard these words, they were greatly perplexed about them, wondering what this would come to.25 And someone came and told them, “Look! The men whom you put in prison are standing in the temple and teaching the people.” 26 Then the captain with the officers went and brought them, but not by force, for they were afraid of being stoned by the people.

27 And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest questioned them, 28 saying, “We strictly charged you not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and you intend to bring this man's blood upon us.” 29 But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men. 30 The God of our fathers raised Jesus, whom you killed by hanging him on a tree. 31 God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. 32 And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.”

Reflect: As an apostle, how would you feel during the events of verses 18-21? What would you expect to happen next? What does the Sanhedrin accuse the apostles of in verse 28? What assertions in Peter’s response would arouse their fury (vv. 29-32)?

Consider: In many languages, jealous is expressed by an idiomatic phrase, for example, “their hearts burned” or “their livers were yellow.” In some instances, however, one must employ a rather full description of precisely what was involved, such as “they were not happy because everybody liked the apostles” or “they were unhappy because the apostles were doing so much.”[1]

Respond:  How do you think your relationship with Christ and your commitment to the body would be different if persecution was a real threat to your everyday life? What would this do to your faith?


[1]  Barclay Moon Newman and Eugene Albert Nida, A Handbook on the Acts of the Apostles, UBS Handbook Series (New York: United Bible Societies, 1972), 123.