Day 28: What a Contrast

Acts 5:21-26 :

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. But the officers who came didn’t find them in the prison. They returned and reported, “We found the prison shut and locked, and the guards standing before the doors, but when we opened them, we found no one inside!”

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. One came and told them, “Behold, the men whom you put in prison are in the temple, standing and teaching the people.” Then the captain went with the officers, and brought them without violence, for they were afraid that the people might stone them.

God was really agitating the high priest and “the senate of the children of Israel.” He personally let the apostles out of jail and told them to continue preaching in the temple. They simply obeyed God and didn’t worry for themselves.

Evidently, the captain and the officers wanted to do some violence against the apostles but didn’t because it would look bad and get them killed instead. Two things are amazing to me here. It is amazing that the apostles were not afraid of getting taken again by people who wanted to be violent against them. God must have given them peace. The second thing is the lengths some leaders will go to hurt the people they are supposed to be helping. The people were out of agreement with the leadership but instead of paying attention to the needs of the people, these leaders set themselves up against the people’s will. We need to remember that leadership like this can deceptively rise up against the people and the law of the land in order to serve their own purposes.

There was quite a contrast between the apostles and the leadership. The apostles were acting bravely but the leaders were so afraid that they were unwilling to face the people. Notice that the captain had a sword, but the people had only rocks that they might use. God was protecting the apostles and allowing the message of Christianity to survive.