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Acts 5:17-28 (web)

A Vain Attempt to Imprison the Word

5:17 But the high priest rose up, and all those who were with him 
(which is the sect of the Sadducees), and they were filled with jealousy, 
5:18 and laid hands on the apostles, and put them in public custody. 

5:19 But an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors by night, and brought them out, and said, 
5:20 "Go stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life." 
5:21 When they heard this, they entered into the temple about daybreak, and taught. 

But the high priest came, and those who were with him, and called the council together,
and all the senate of the children of Israel, and sent to the prison to have them brought. 
5:22 But the officers who came didn't find them in the prison. They returned and reported, 
5:23 "We found the prison shut and locked, and the guards standing before the doors,
but when we opened them, we found no one inside!" 
5:24 Now when the high priest, the captain of the temple, 
and the chief priests heard these words, 
they were very perplexed about them and what might become of this. 
5:25 One came and told them, 
"Behold, the men whom you put in prison are in the temple, standing and teaching the people." 

5:26 Then the captain went with the officers, and brought them without violence,
for they were afraid that the people might stone them. 
5:27 When they had brought them, they set them before the council. The high priest questioned them, 
5:28 saying, "Didn't we strictly charge you not to teach in this name? 
Behold, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and intend to bring this man's blood on us." 


Experiencing Freedom in Ministry

Here's a rather literal application of Jesus' words, "The truth will set you free." John 8:32 So also even when imprisoned Paul writes: "I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God's word is not chained."  2Ti 2:9 (niv) God wants people to have free acces to His Word. Let us unleash the Word upon the world and see its affect. It is in such a context that God will act on our behalf for His name sake. And indeed if we wish to experience freedom from bondage we should serve the Lord. This is true even of psychological bondage the world and flesh impart to us. While the world may prescribe drugs, we prescribe a life devoted to Jesus Christ and carrying out His will on the earth. In the midst of hostility David encouraged himself in the Lord and went on to serve. (1Samuel 30:6) So also there is no doubt that this experience of deliverance was encouraging to the apostles who were further strengthened in faith. So let us also realize that our enemies and the persecution they bring can be a benefit to us as our faith in tested and strengthened under trials and through our experience of God's deliverance.

The Berean Christian Bible Study Resources May 11,2023