purpose for the rescue
Acts 5:17-42 (JDV)
Acts 5:17 Then the high priest got up. He and all who were with him, who belonged to the party of the Sadducees, were filled with jealousy.
Acts 5:18 So they forced hands on the missionaries and put them in the jail publicly.
Acts 5:19 But an agent from the Lord opened the doors of the jail during the night, brought them out, and said,
Acts 5:20 “Go and stand in the temple, and tell the people all about this life.”
Acts 5:21 Hearing this, they entered the temple at daybreak and began to teach. When the high priest and those who were with him arrived, they convened the Sanhedrin — the full council of the Israelites — and sent orders to the jail to have them brought.
Acts 5:22 But when the servants got there, they did not find them in the jail, so they returned and reported,
Acts 5:23 “We found the jail securely locked, with the guards standing in front of the doors, but when we opened them, we found no one inside.”
Acts 5:24 As the captain of the temple police and the chief priests heard these things, they were baffled about them, wondering what would come of this.
Acts 5:25 Someone came and reported to them, “Look! The men you put in jail are standing in the temple and teaching the people.”
Acts 5:26 Then the commander went with the servants and brought them in without force, because they were afraid the people might stone them.
Acts 5:27 After they brought them in, they had them stand before the Sanhedrin, and the high priest asked,
Acts 5:28 “Didn’t we strictly direct you not to teach in this name? Notice, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man’s blood.”
Acts 5:29 Peter and the missionaries reacted, “We must obey God rather than people.
Acts 5:30 The God of our ancestors raised up Jesus, on whom you had laid violent hands by hanging him on a tree.
Acts 5:31 God exalted this man to his right hand as ruler and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of failures.
Acts 5:32 We are testifiers of these things, and so is the Sacred Breath whom God has given to those who obey him.”
Acts 5:33 When they heard this, they were enraged and wanted to take them out.
Acts 5:34 But a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law who was respected by all the people, got up in the Sanhedrin and ordered the men to be taken outside for a little while.
Acts 5:35 He said to them, “Men of Israel, be careful about what you’re about to do to these men.
Acts 5:36 Some time ago Theudas got up, claiming to be somebody, and a group of about four hundred men rallied to him. He was taken out, and all his persuaded ones were dispersed and came to nothing.
Acts 5:37 After this man, Judas the Galilean got up in the days of the census and attracted a following. He also was destroyed, and all his persuaded ones were scattered.
Acts 5:38 And now, I am saying to you, stay away from these men and leave them alone. If this plan or this work is that of humans, it will be torn down;
Acts 5:39 but if it is of God, you will not be able to tear them down. You may even be found fighting against God.” They were persuaded by him.
Acts 5:40 After they called for the missionaries and had them flogged, they directed them not to speak in the name of Jesus and let them go.
Acts 5:41 Then they went out from the presence of the Sanhedrin, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to be treated shamefully on behalf of the Name.
Acts 5:42 Every day in the temple, and in various homes, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah.
purpose for the rescue
The God who rescued the believers in Jerusalem from their sins proves himself capable of rescuing them from their enemies. He sometimes uses divine agents (angels) as he did when he broke the missionaries out of jail. Sometimes he intervenes through human agents, as he did through the wise counsel of Gamaliel. In each case, the purpose for the rescue was to continue the believers’ witness to the life available in Christ. The results of the rescue were joyful worship, and constant evangelism.
Lord, we will keep proclaiming your gospel, and trust you to keep rescuing us from anything that might prevent us from reaching the nations with the good news.