Bible Study Lessons: Acts 5:17-42
The Sadducees were very jealous and afraid they (the disciples) would begin to tear down the structure of the synagogue so decided to have them arrested.
In Acts 5, a Pharisee named Gamaliel proclaimed in verses 38-39; “if this plan or action is of men, it will be overthrown; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them..“.
So, Peter and the other disciples were left to preach the message.
Hearing of Peter & the Apostles
But the high priest rose up, along with all his associates (that is the sect of the Sadducees), and they were filled with jealousy.
They laid hands on the apostles and put them in a public jail.
But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the gates of the prison, and taking them out he said, “Go, stand and speak to the people in the temple the whole message of this Life.”
Upon hearing this, they entered into the temple about daybreak and began to teach.
Now when the high priest and his associates came, they called the Council together, even all the Senate of the sons of Israel, and sent orders to the prison house for them to be brought.
But the officers who came did not find them in the prison; and they returned and reported back, saying, “We found the prison house locked quite securely and the guards standing at the doors; but when we had opened up, we found no one inside.”
Now when the captain of the temple guard and the chief priests heard these words, they were greatly perplexed about them as to what would come of this.
But someone came and reported to them, “The men whom you put in prison are standing in the temple and teaching the people!”
Then the captain went along with the officers and proceeded to bring them back without violence (for they were afraid of the people, that they might be stoned).
When they had brought them, they stood them before the Council. The high priest questioned them, saying, “We gave you strict orders not to continue teaching in this name, and yet, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.”
But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men..” – Acts 5:17-29 NASB
Respect – Earned or Demanded?
I remember a Viet Nam war movie starring Gene Hackman where he said to a new leader of his team; “You have to earn their respect..”.
This is exactly what the apostles did when they approached the people.
Unlike the Sadducees and the Pharisees who demanded respect because of who they were; the disciples earned respect because they honored God when they preached.
There is a BIG difference!
Christians are Not Immune from Persecution
As I write this there is persecution and even murder of Christians all over the world.
These people suffer and die for nothing more than their belief in Christ. A pastor has been held captive in Iran for over two years with no hope of release in sight. Deals have been made with Iran with no regard to our people being held in prisons.
This pastor is being mistreated and threatened because he will not renounce Jesus as Savior! I try to stay calm but it’s hard to believe that our congress and president will not even consider demanding his release.
And, you watch the news just as I do so you know about the other atrocities happening to Christians today.
The Apostles Find Themselves in Jail
This is just a hint of what’s happened to the disciples as they are thrown in jail and threatened with their lives.
Even though they were empowered with boldness by God and given the ability to do great miracles in Jesus’ name, they were just as vulnerable as Pastor Saeed in Iran.
How Bold are You?
Chances are, you or I will not face death because of our belief but we could realistically be ridiculed (or even sued) because we refuse to do what is against the Bible.
With the educational foundations hiring more and more atheists and condemning Christianity; and with lawsuits coming from every direction because we are “intolerant”, we can expect persecution to increase as the years go by.
What Did Jesus Do When Persecuted?
[easyazon_image align=”left” height=”160″ identifier=”1414359810″ locale=”US” src=”http://www.makingchristknown.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/41JwjK0VI4L.SL160.jpg” tag=”bobpardphot-20″ width=”120″]We are not alone. Jesus suffered more than we ever could just to save us.
Is it worth a little humiliation to tell others about what He did for us?
As Christians, it’s our duty to tell the whole world about the salvation freely offered to them – even in countries where sharing is forbidden.
Can we be as bold as Peter and the apostles?
Love in Christ
If you would like to discover more about the love and life-changing experience of Jesus Christ, please take a moment to see John 3:16.
Read Today’s Verses Here:
New American Standard Bible
New King James Version