Day 8 - Concord Students Journey
The Apostles Persecuted
17 Then the high priest and all his associates, who were members of the party of the Sadducees, were filled with jealousy. 18 They arrested the apostles and put them in the public jail. 19 But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the doors of the jail and brought them out. 20 “Go, stand in the temple courts,” he said, “and tell the people all about this new life.”
21 At daybreak they entered the temple courts, as they had been told, and began to teach the people.
When the high priest and his associates arrived, they called together the Sanhedrin—the full assembly of the elders of Israel—and sent to the jail for the apostles. 22 But on arriving at the jail, the officers did not find them there. So they went back and reported, 23 “We found the jail securely locked, with the guards standing at the doors; but when we opened them, we found no one inside.” 24 On hearing this report, the captain of the temple guard and the chief priests were at a loss, wondering what this might lead to.
25 Then someone came and said, “Look! The men you put in jail are standing in the temple courts teaching the people.” 26 At that, the captain went with his officers and brought the apostles. They did not use force, because they feared that the people would stone them.
27 The apostles were brought in and made to appear before the Sanhedrin to be questioned by the high priest. 28 “We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name,” he said. “Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man’s blood.”
29 Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than human beings! 30 The God of our ancestors raised Jesus from the dead—whom you killed by hanging him on a cross. 31 God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might bring Israel to repentance and forgive their sins. 32 We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.”
33 When they heard this, they were furious and wanted to put them to death. 34 But a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law, who was honored by all the people, stood up in the Sanhedrin and ordered that the men be put outside for a little while. 35 Then he addressed the Sanhedrin: “Men of Israel, consider carefully what you intend to do to these men. 36 Some time ago Theudas appeared, claiming to be somebody, and about four hundred men rallied to him. He was killed, all his followers were dispersed, and it all came to nothing. 37 After him, Judas the Galilean appeared in the days of the census and led a band of people in revolt. He too was killed, and all his followers were scattered. 38 Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. 39 But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.”
40 His speech persuaded them. They called the apostles in and had them flogged. Then they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.
41 The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name. 42 Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah.
Acts chapter 5, verses 12-42 tells the story of the apostles' miraculous healing and preaching in Jerusalem. This passage demonstrates the power of faith and the willingness of believers to suffer persecution for their beliefs.
After the apostles healed many people and performed signs and wonders, the high priest and Sadducees became jealous and arrested them. However, an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and set them free, telling them to continue preaching in the temple.
When the council discovered the apostles preaching in the temple again, they were brought before the council and questioned. Peter boldly declared that they were obeying God rather than men and testified about Jesus Christ and His resurrection. The council was enraged and wanted to kill the apostles, but a wise Pharisee named Gamaliel advised caution and reminded them that if the apostles' message was truly from God, they could not stop it.
The apostles were flogged and warned not to preach in the name of Jesus again, but they rejoiced that they were counted worthy to suffer for His sake and continued to preach boldly.
As we read the book of Acts, we can learn valuable lessons from this passage. Here are two reflection questions to consider:
Are you willing to suffer for your faith? The apostles were beaten and persecuted for preaching the gospel, but they did not back down. Are you willing to stand up for what you believe in, even if it means facing opposition or ridicule from others?
Do you trust God's plan for your life? The apostles were released from prison by an angel and continued to preach the gospel despite the threat of persecution. Do you trust that God has a plan for your life and that He will guide and protect you as you follow Him?
Let us be inspired by the faith and boldness of the apostles in Acts chapter 5, and let us strive to follow in their footsteps as we seek to live out our own faith.
Post a Comment
We no longer allow comments at Youthstory.org sorry....