Friday, June 23, 2017
The high priest and his officials, who were Sadducees, were filled with jealousy. They arrested the apostles and put them in the public jail. But an angel of the Lord came at night, opened the gates of the jail, and brought them out. Then he told them, “Go to the Temple and give the people this message of life!” So at daybreak the apostles entered the Temple, as they were told, and immediately began teaching. When the high priest and his officials arrived, they convened the high council—the full assembly of the elders of Israel. Then they sent for the apostles to be brought from the jail for trial. But when the Temple guards went to the jail, the men were gone. So they returned to the council and reported, “The jail was securely locked, with the guards standing outside, but when we opened the gates, no one was there!” When the captain of the Temple guard and the leading priests heard this, they were perplexed, wondering where it would all end. Then someone arrived with startling news: “The men you put in jail are standing in the Temple, teaching the people!” The captain went with his Temple guards and arrested the apostles, but without violence, for they were afraid the people would stone them.
Whenever you serve God wholeheartedly, and are following His leading, you can rest assured there will be problems, opposition, and the power of God confusing those who think they’re in charge, and dispatching the problems like mist lifting in the morning.
That’s the sum of jail time for the apostles:
· They were faithfully preaching Jesus, and got arrested.
· An angel picked the lock on their cells and, there you have it, jailbreak…out of the frying pan!
· The Sadducees in charge are stupefied, find the apostles preaching again and arrest them (this time more carefully) again…back in the frying pan.
There are a couple of really evident lessons here.
1. Problems and opposition are never the last word when you’re on mission for the Kingdom; they’re only proof God’s power is zeroing-in against the darkness of spiritual wickedness.
2. When you encounter problems and opposition, never give them the power to end your mission, which is to always preach Jesus. If God wants you to preach on the streets, in the church, or in a jail…He can arrange what needs to be arranged. He’s good at that!
What opposition or problems have caused you to consider backing-off preaching Jesus?