Hi. Welcome to Redeem the Commute. I’m Ryan, your host of the daily challenges. Today is Tuesday, the day we study the Bible together. This week, as part of our series on the identity of Jesus, we’re going to study how Jesus’ death and resurrection makes us messengers.
In this story, we hear about Jesus’ disciples, his followers, and how they went public with their faith:
Now many signs and wonders were regularly done among the people by the hands of the apostles. And they were all together in Solomon’s Portico. None of the rest dared join them, but the people held them in high esteem. And more than ever believers were added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women, so that they even carried out the sick into the streets and laid them on cots and mats, that as Peter came by at least his shadow might fall on some of them. The people also gathered from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing the sick and those afflicted with unclean spirits, and they were all healed.
But the high priest rose up, and all who were with him (that is, the party of the Sadducees), and filled with jealousy they arrested the apostles and put them in the public prison. But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and brought them out, and said, “Go and stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this Life.” And when they heard this, they entered the temple at daybreak and began to teach.
Now when the high priest came, and those who were with him, they called together the council, all the senate of the people of Israel, and sent to the prison to have them brought. But when the officers came, they did not find them in the prison, so they returned and reported, “We found the prison securely locked and the guards standing at the doors, but when we opened them we found no one inside.” Now when the captain of the temple and the chief priests heard these words, they were greatly perplexed about them, wondering what this would come to. And someone came and told them, “Look! The men whom you put in prison are standing in the temple and teaching the people.” Then the captain with the officers went and brought them, but not by force, for they were afraid of being stoned by the people. (Acts 5:12-28)
Do you see how this message can’t be contained? The disciples can’t hold it in, even for their own safety – they have to share it. They can’t just enjoy the faith they’ve found amongst themselves. They are messengers now.
This is why they’re speaking about Jesus, even after they’ve just escaped from a Roman prison. This is why they haven’t gone into hiding, but have gone to the center of religious life in Jerusalem, the Temple, and spoke there.
I can imagine the people were a little more receptive as word spread that they were escaped fugitives – people probably had a mix of intrigue at the danger of it all, and fear of what the authorities would do next!
Question: What do you think motivated Peter to go to the temple and speak like this? What gives him confidence? What do you think they would say, that was worth such a risk?