21 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.
22 But when the officers came, they did not find them in the prison, so they returned and reported,
23 “We found the prison securely locked and the guards standing at the doors, but when we opened them we found no one inside.”
24 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.
25 And someone came and told them, “Look! The men whom you put in prison are standing in the temple and teaching the people.”
26 Then the captain with the officers went and brought them, but not by force, for they were afraid of being stoned by the people.
27 And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest questioned them,
28 saying, “We strictly charged you not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and you intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.”
Acts 5:21–28 ESV Read More
Now remember, these are the same leaders that wanted to kill Jesus and then Lazarus – because Lazarus was raised from the dead.
Now they want to lock up Peter and John for teaching about Jesus – and they are back out in the square, free as a bird, preaching about Jesus.
We know that these religious leaders trust their guards, because the typical punishment for losing a prisoner was for you to get whatever punishment that prisoner was going to get. There is no mention of consequences against the guards. You almost wonder if they are starting to be a little scared of these powers. After all, they have been healing people in public at such a rate that the leadership is afraid of them!
People crowd around and get healed when Peter’s shadow touches them.
I also wonder if they are starting to soften up because when they finally bring those guys back in for questioning, they don’t accuse them of preaching resurrection or healing on the Sabbath. They are now blaming Peter and John for guilt.
“We strictly charged you not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and you intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.”
Not only are they teaching about Jesus, but they are gaining some momentum in the teaching of the facts about how He died and who killed Him. Along with that comes the fact that He rose from the dead!
But the part they are worried about is their guilt.
When we feel guilty, it’s a little red flag from the Lord trying to get our attention. I’m not talking about woe is me guilt. That nonsense is from the devil. If it makes you hopeless and feel like you can’t do anything, that’s the devil ripping you off.
But that much more subtle guilt that whispers “maybe I did something wrong here that I need to make right” could very well be from the Lord. “Maybe I said that in a harsh way,” or even “Something about this doesn’t make me worship the Lord as I do it.”
It’s not bad to see yourself as the bad guy in these Bible stories. Just let the Holy Spirit give you the pause. He’s working in us to make the world a little right today. He loves to do this stuff with us.