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.
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