The Apostles Arrested and Freed (Part 1)
17 But the high priest rose up, and all who were with him (that is, the party of the Sadducees), and filled with jealousy 18 they arrested the apostles and put them
in the public prison. 19 But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and brought them out, and said, 20 “Go and stand in the temple and speak
to the people all the words of this Life.” 21 And when they heard this, they entered the temple at daybreak and began to teach.
the high priest came, and those who were with him, they called together the council, all the senate of the people of Israel, and sent to the prison to have them brought.22 But when the officers came, they did not find them
in the prison, so they returned and reported, 23 “We found the prison securely locked and the guards standing at the doors, but when we opened them we found no one inside.” 24 Now
when the captain of the temple and the chief priests heard these words, they were greatly perplexed about them, wondering what this would come to. 25 And someone came and told them, “Look! The men whom you put
in prison are standing in the temple and teaching the people.” 26 Then the captain with the officers went and brought them, but not by force, for they were afraid of being stoned by the people.
In yesterday’s reading, the apostles were let go, but in today’s reading, they have second thoughts. Due to jealousy, they arrest the apostles and they are back in prison. But not for long! That
night, and angel sets them free and tells them to go back out into the streets and to speak God’s Word again. Would you flee, go home, stay in prison, or go into the streets and preach and teach the Word of God? Easier said than done!
I guess if you knew that the angels were in fact angels, then you would (hopefully) go back out into the streets. The next day, the high priest gathered the council to question the apostles and sent for the apostles to be brought to them. I would
have loved to have been a fly on the wall when they realize that they were back out in the streets and were supposed to be in prison. They find the prison securely locked with guards in place…. but no prisoners. I would hate to be a guard
at this point. They thought the apostles were still in there. First there would be the shock of the empty cell, then the shock of thinking you are a dead man because you were guarding them and they are gone! They go back to report this to
the high priest and at the same time… they are being notified that the apostles are back out in the streets. This is the last place they would have expected to find the apostles, but that is where they are! Verse 26 shows a different attitude
towards the apostles. They captain and the guards went to get them, but not by force… they were afraid! The rest of the story is for tomorrow’s reading.
I pray: O Lord, help me to
follow your commands even in the face of death. Help me to be bold and to tell others about Jesus Christ and his plan of salvation. Help me to not be afraid. Amen.