Acts 5:17-20 :
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, and laid hands on the apostles, and put them in public custody. But an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors by night, and brought them out, and said, “Go stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life.”
What would you say is the worst sin? Murder? Adultery? I think that pride is one of the worst. One of pride’s children is jealousy and when people are jealous they do things like commit murder and adultery. They may even throw innocent people into jail or take them to court.
Jealousy isn’t always bad. The Bible says that God is jealous for us (not of us) when we treat other things as more important than Him. If you are jealous about something that God believes is rightly yours that someone else takes from you, then it is good jealousy. Often what we see is a kind of jealousy against what God has chosen to give to someone else. In that sense, our jealousy is against God. Since God is to be the most important person in our lives, when He chooses to give something to someone else rather than us, we should accept it and trust Him.
Here we see that the Sadducees and the high priest became jealous of the Christians for being so popular. In their jealousy they threw innocent men into jail. This is a very common problem today for Christians. God makes us more successful than we would be if we acted on our own. Those still acting on their own get angry and fight us. This is difficult to take sometimes and we need God’s help to keep our hearts strong and our hopes up when jealousy suddenly lashes out against us. God will fight for us, however.
In this case God released them at night supernaturally. Even though jealousy may be difficult for us to endure, there is no better side to be on than the side of Jesus because he frees us in the end. There is an amazing book called “The Hiding Place” about some Christians who tried to protect Jews from the Nazis and were thrown into a concentration camp. The story talks about how two sisters were released in different ways. One died and went to be with Jesus and the other was actually released from the camp alive. This story helps us to remember that in the end, Jesus will release all of us because an eternity of good is waiting for all Christians.