Daily Word

Miraculous bravery | Acts 5:17-21

17 But the high priest stood up, along with all his associates (that is the sect of the Sadducees), and they were filled with jealousy. 18 They laid hands on the apostles and put them in a public prison. 19 But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the gates of the prison, and leading them out, he said, 20 “Go, stand and [ p ]speak to the people in the temple area [ q ]the whole message of this Life.” 21 Upon hearing this, they entered into the temple area about daybreak and began to teach.

Acts 5:17-21 (NASB) 中文

Chastening then blessing

Yesterday we saw the Spirit of God working again mightily through signs and wonders done by the apostles. A holy fear spread among the crowd. Sick and possessed were being healed and delivered in dramatic ways. People were being drawn from cities outside Jerusalem and the church was growing more. But trouble was looming.

Sheep stealing

Some time after this, the high priest, who happened to be a Sadducee, along with his associates, sought to put an end to this. They were jealous. The apostles were getting all the attention and “stealing” their followers. Worse, according to them, they were leading them to follow the teachings of the man Jesus whom they had labeled a blasphemer and crucified.

Opposing God

So they arrested the whole lot of them and threw them into prison. But that didn’t work, for they were opposing God – which never ends well. God dispatches an angel to spring them from prison then command them to go back out and continue preaching “the whole message of life”. As we’ll see in the next passage, this was the angel of stealth since no one knew they had escaped.

Miraculous bravery

These apostles had miraculous bravery. Peter and John had earlier been arrested and warned not to speak in the name of Jesus ( Acts 4:1-4). They chose to obey God rather than man. Now the whole lot of 12 apostles is arrested. They clearly were not concerned about the threats of the religious leaders. They knew their call, were filled with the Holy Spirit and were doing the work God prepared in advance for them to do (Eph 2:10).

Now all the apostles get the opportunity to experience persecution and all respond in the same manner. They all chose to obey the Lord – regardless of the consequences. They gave up their lives to follow Christ. And indeed, per tradition, all, but John, were martyred for their faith.


  • Are we willing, like these apostles, to give up our lives to follow Christ? The cost is great; the reward is greater. Paul says, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” (Romans 8:18) And, “For our momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison” – 2 Cor 4:17. Do we really believe it?
  • Who would ever try to oppose God? Crazy! But consider it carefully. Any time we reject His will for us, deny His command or resist His control, are we not opposing God?
Soldier. Brave. Courageous. Image from pxfuel.com

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