17 The high priest and all his companions were Sadducees. They were very jealous of the apostles. 18 So they arrested them and put them in the public jail. 19 But during the night an angel of the Lord came. He opened the doors of the jail and brought the apostles out. 20 “Go! Stand in the temple courtyard,” the angel said. “Tell the people all about this new life.” 21 Early the next day they did as they had been told. They entered the temple courtyard. There they began to teach the people. The high priest and his companions arrived. They called the Sanhedrin together. The Sanhedrin was a gathering of all the elders of Israel. They sent for the apostles who were in jail. 22 The officers arrived at the jail. But they didn’t find the apostles there. So they went back and reported it. 23 “We found the jail locked up tight,” they said. “The guards were standing at the doors. But when we opened the doors, we didn’t find anyone inside.” 24 When the captain of the temple guard and the chief priests heard this report, they were bewildered. They wondered what would happen next. 25 Then someone came and said, “Look! The men you put in jail are standing in the temple courtyard. They are teaching the people.” 26 So the captain went with his officers and brought the apostles back. But they didn’t use force. They were afraid the people would kill them by throwing stones at them.
The fearlessness of the disciples is amazing. The Jewish leaders are filled with jealousy, due to the signs and wonders being done (5:12-16), arrest the disciples & put them in gaol. An angel of the Lord releases them & instructs them to keep doing what they’ve been doing. Without seemingly missing a beat the disciples head back to the temple at dawn and continue.
The disciples prayed after their first release from being gaoled by the Jewish leaders Acts 4:29-30, “give your servants fearless confidence in preaching your Message as you stretch out your hand to us in healings and miracles and wonders done in the name of your holy servant Jesus. ” (Message) I’m reminded of the old adage “be careful of what you pray for ”. The disciples were living their prayer, they were bold, they were fearless & they couldn’t stop & God loved it! He was with them all the way, with signs and wonders and an angel to release them.
How much do I want God to use me? I’m wondering whether I’m too careful in what I pray for or not careful enough!? Do I really want to be fearless and bold, do I really want His hand to be stretched out to me to be used in healings and miracles or is it just a ‘nice’ thing to pray?
Jesus I’m sorry if I have been too careful in my praying, my expectations and limiting you. I think I’m afraid to ask for ‘fearless confidence’ but I want to as I don’t want to miss out on you and the plans you have for me, so Lord I ask for boldness to speak your Word & stretch your hand in miracles and healings in your name Jesus. Amen
Written by Suzie Hodgson