Acts chapter 5 begins with the other side of meeting people’s needs. We have been given the privelege of giving to the Lord. How much and when we give is up to us. If we deceive the church with false information there will be a price to pay. This was the experience of Aninias and Safira in the first part of the chapter. The church learned that we can not mess with the Lord and get away with it. Meanwhile, the church grew daily with many being saved. That, of course brought it to the attention of the High Priest, his relatives and friends. That created a violent jealousy. Once again the Disciples were thrown into jail. We are not told how many were put in jail, but I believe that there were several. This time an angel opened the doors of the jail and brought them all out. They were told, by an angel, to go to the temple and continue to preach the word. Most of us would have skipped town so we wouldn’t get caught again. They did not. The Priests were frantic when they heard that the Disciples were gone from a secure jail. The Apostles were found doing as the angel told them to do. They were brought before the High Priest and asked why they continued to preach about Jesus when they were told not to. The apostles answered that they must “obey God” rather than man. The apostles blamed the High Priest for Jesus’ death which made the Priests furious. The Priests decided to kill the Apostles, but a man named Gamaliel, an expert in religious law, suggested that if God was with the Apostles that the Priests would be fighting against God. If the movement were of man the work would eventually disapear just as several movements had done before. The Priests accepted Gamaliel’s advice but could not resist punishing the Apostles with a beating. The Apostles rejoiced that they were counted worthy of suffering for the Lord. Do we have the same attitude?
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