Chapter 5, Acts 5: 1- 42, Saved by an angel
Heavenly Father, we pray for enlightenment, wisdom, insight and sensitive spirits to hear from You, in Jesus’ name, in Jesus’ name, Amen,
VV 1-6, 1 But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession. 2 And he kept back part of the proceeds, his wife also being aware of it, and brought a certain part and laid it at the apostles’ feet. 3 But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself? 4 While it remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.” 5 Then Ananias, hearing these words, fell down and breathed his last. So great fear came upon all those who heard these things. 6 And the young men arose and wrapped him up, carried him out, and buried him.
Ananias and his wife Sapphira sold possessions and decided to give only part of the proceed.to the apostles. Peter rebuked Ananias for his dishonesty. Ananias immediately died and young men came to carry him out and buried him.
VV 7-11, 7 Now it was about three hours later when his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 8 And Peter answered her, “Tell me whether you sold the land for so much?” She said, “Yes, for so much.” 9 Then Peter said to her, “How is it that you have agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out.” 10 Then immediately she fell down at his feet and breathed her last. And the young men came in and found her dead, and carrying her out, buried her by her husband. 11 So great fear came upon all the church and upon all who heard these things.
Three hours later, Ananias’ wife, Sapphira encountered the same fate when she told the same lie and was buried beside her husband. The church members were overwhelmed by fear.
VV 12-16, 12 And through the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were done among the people. And they were all with one accord in Solomon’s Porch. 13 Yet none of the rest dared join them, but the people esteemed them highly. 14 And believers were increasingly added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women, 15 so that they brought the sick out into the streets and laid them on beds and couches, that at least the shadow of Peter passing by might fall on some of them. 16 Also a multitude gathered from the surrounding cities to Jerusalem, bringing sick people and those who were tormented by unclean spirits, and they were all healed.
More and more believers were added into the church including men and women. The sick people were healed, the lame walked, the demonised were exorcised. People were healed when Peter walk past, and his shadow fell on them. People brough the sick and the demonised from everywhere to the apostles for healing.
VV 17-20, 17 Then the high priest rose up, and all those who were with him (which is the sect of the Sadducees), and they were filled with indignation, 18 and laid their hands on the apostles and put them in the common prison. 19 But at night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and brought them out, and said, 20 “Go, stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this life.”
The Sadducees high priest arrested the apostles and threw them into the prison. They were rescued by an angel of God at night who instructed them to speak to the people in the temple.
VV 21-23, 21 And when they heard that, they entered the temple early in the morning and taught. But the high priest and those with him came and called the council together, with all the elders of the children of Israel, and sent to the prison to have them brought. 22 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!”
The next day, the high priest summon the prison guards to bring the prisoners. But the prison guards could not find the prisoners.
VV 24-26, 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.
One prison officer reported to the high priest that the prisoners were teaching in the temple. The chief prison officer and his men went and brought the prisoners to the high priest for questioning.
VV 27-32, 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.”
The high priest rebuked the apostles for teaching in the name of Jesus. Peter boldly answered that they would rather obey God than to obey them. Peter accused them of murdering Jesus of Nazareth, whom God exalted to the highest place in heaven. Peter testified that he, the apostles, and the Holy Spirit are witnesses to these things.
VV 33-42, 33 When they heard this, they were furious and plotted to kill them. 34 Then one in the council stood up, a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law held in respect by all the people and commanded them to put the apostles outside for a little while. 35 And he said to them: “Men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what you intend to do regarding these men. 36 For some time ago Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody. A number of men, about four hundred, joined him. He was slain, and all who obeyed him were scattered and came to nothing. 37 After this man, Judas of Galilee rose up in the days of the census and drew away many people after him. He also perished, and all who obeyed him were dispersed. 38 And now I say to you, keep away from these men and let them alone; for if this plan or this work is of men, it will come to nothing; 39 but if it is of God, you cannot overthrow it, lest you even be found to fight against God.” 40 And they agreed with him, and when they had called for the apostles and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. 41 So they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name. 42 And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.
The Jewish religious wanted to kill the apostles but Gamaliel, a Pharisee and Rabbi managed to talk them out of it saying that if they were not from God, they will not succeed. If they were from God, it would be futile to fight against God. The high priest released the apostles after beating them up and warning them not to teach in the name of Jesus. The apostles rejoiced and continued to teach.
The apostles were anointed by The Holy Spirit to fulfil their calling. They rejoiced to be counted worthy to suffer for Christ and not be afraid of men.
Pray for the anointing of the Holy Spirit and boldness to face people.
Heavenly Father, thank You for anointing the apostles with the Holy Spirit. We pray that You will anoint us with the Holy Spirit. Help us to obey You and not men, in Jesus’ name, Amen.