Verses 17-26 are some of the most truly remarkable verses of the Book of Acts. When we last left the apostles, they were teaching in the temple at Solomon’s Portico — the very same place where Peter and John had been arrested for teaching about Jesus. In verse 17, we find the high priest (and the Sadducees with him) “filled with jealousy” toward the apostles for the esteem with which the people held them. So they arrested them, and put them in prison.
But during the night, Luke tells us in verses 19-20, an angel of the Lord came and opened the doors to the prison. He told them to go back to the temple and “speak to the people all the words of this Life.” “This Life,” of course, means of salvation and eternal life. So they are to go back and do the very thing that got them thrown into this prison in the first place. Of course, the apostles did not question the wisdom of this, but went at daybreak and did exactly that.
In the morning, the Sanhedrin council convened, with everyone in their places of authority, and sent for the prisoners. What they found was that the doors to the prison were still locked, with guards outside – but no prisoners! So they returned and reported this to the council. Imagine their incredulity at this disappearing act right under the noses of the guards! They were at a loss at what to do. One might think that at some point here they would realize that they were fighting against the Lord. But remember this the next time you think that a miracle might convince someone of the truth, when the word of God itself does not.
Instead, they sent the captain of the temple with the officers back to the temple, as someone had come and told them where the apostles were. But verse 26 says that they did not bring them back by force because “they were afraid of being stoned by the people.” They should have been afraid of God!
(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Acts here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 2 Chronicles here
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers
All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility. When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Please check out my Books and my Facebook Author’s Page. You will find the links at this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books“.