April 21, 2022 – Thursday
Acts 5:29-32 NIV
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.”
Peter and the apostles reply was to the high priest who had said, We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name. Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man’s blood. This was after they had been arrested and placed in jail the day before, but an angel of the Lord freed them and told them v20, Go, stand in the temple courts and tell the people all about this new life.
Imagine the shock and surprise of the high priest and his associates when they arrived, especially after they called together the Sanhedrin—the full assembly of the elders of Israel—and sent for the apostles and they were not in jail. While they were trying to comprehend what had happened v25, some person reported, Look! The men you put in jail are standing in the temple courts teaching the people. They were again arrested and brought before the Sanhedrin and questioned as noted above.
Their reply was nothing but the truth. Nonetheless, the Sanhedrin wanted them put to death! They hated the truth the apostles were teaching, that they had Jesus killed by having Him hung on a cross. There was indeed blood on their hands. Of course, there was more when they said, The God of our ancestors raised Jesus from the dead. And further, God exalted Him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that He might bring Israel to repentance and forgive their sins. And that is what they had prevented, by having Him crucified. By calling Jesus the Savior who could bring Israel to repentance and forgive her sins, he was bringing to mind Isaiah 62:11 which at least the Pharisees would know, The Lord has made proclamation to the ends of the earth: “Say to Daughter Zion, See, your Savior comes! See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him.” It is no wonder the Sanhedrin wanted them put to death.
But one man, a Pharisee named Gamaliel, stood up and counseled otherwise. He mentioned two men, Theudas and Judas the Galilean who at separate times had made claims of greatness and led a revolt respectively. Both failed and died. Thus, he advised concerning the apostles v38-39, 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. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God. Being persuaded by Gamaliel they did not have them but to death, but did have them flogged before releasing them with orders to not to speak the name of Jesus.
We know how this ended as we still speak of our Lord and Savior to this day. As for the apostles when they were released v41-42, The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name. 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.
Bottom Line: No matter the threats, the possibility of beatings or actual beatings we should never stop teaching and proclaiming the good news of Jesus the Christ.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Please bless us with the courage of the apostles should our time ever come when we have to obey God rather than men. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton