Apostles on Trial Again

But when the officers came and did not find them in the prison, they returned and reported, 23 saying, “Indeed we found the prison shut securely, and the guards standing outside before the doors; but when we opened them, we found no one inside!” 24 Now when the high priest, the captain of the temple, and the chief priests heard these things, they wondered what the outcome would be. 25 So one came and told them, saying, “Look, the men whom you put in prison are standing in the temple and teaching the people!”

26 Then the captain went with the officers and brought them without violence, for they feared the people, lest they should be stoned. 27 And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest asked them, 28 saying, “Did we not strictly command you not to teach in this name? And look, you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this Man’s blood on us!”

29 But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men. 30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus whom you murdered by hanging on a tree. 31 Him God has exalted to His right hand to be Prince and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. 32 And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him.” — Acts 5:22-32.

The officers who go to fetch the apostles from the prison do not find them there. So they return and report to the council that even though the jail is locked securely with guards standing at the doors, no one is found inside. This confuses everyone. Someone comes and reports that the apostles are freely teaching in the temple courts.

The commander of the temple guards and other soldiers go and bring the apostles without use of force because they were afraid of being stoned by the people. They set them before the council. The high priest questions them, saying that in spite of being strictly ordered not to teach in Jesus’ name, the apostles have filled Jerusalem with their teaching.

Peter and the apostles reply they must obey God rather than people. The God of their forefathers raised up Jesus whom the religious leaders seized and murdered by hanging Him on a tree. God raised Jesus from the dead and exalted Him to His right hand as Prince and Savior to give repentance and forgiveness of sins to Israel. They are witness of these events as also the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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