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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!” 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. 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!”

 

The Sanhedrin put the apostles on trial again (vv. 22-32). 

5:22

But when the officers came and did not find them in the prison, they returned and reported,

The Temple guard discovered that the apostles were not in prison.

5:23

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 Temple police reported to the Sanhedrin that the doors of the jail were locked, but the apostles were missing. Somehow the apostles left the prison while the doors were still locked.

5:24

Now when the high priest, the captain of the temple, and the chief priests heard these things, they wondered what the outcome would be.

The members of the Sanhedrin were perplexed about what happened.

5:25

So one came and told them, saying, “Look, the men whom you put in prison are standing in the temple and teaching the people!”

A report came to the Sanhedrin that the apostles were in the Temple—and preaching, at that. The word “teaching” emphasizes the content of the apostle’s preaching, especially the truth of the gospel.

5:26

Then the captain went with the officers and brought them without violence, for they feared the people, lest they should be stoned.

The Temple captain and his cohorts brought the apostles back to the Sanhedrin without a struggle. The police feared the crowd should they attempt to mistreat the apostles.

5:27

And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest asked them,

The high priest again interrogated the apostles before the Council.

5:28

saying, “Did we not strictly command you not to teach in this name?

The high priest reminded the apostles that the Sanhedrin had strictly ordered them not to teach in the name of Christ.

And look, you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine,

These enemies of the gospel unintentionally testified to the effectiveness of the preaching of the apostles.

and intend to bring this Man’s blood on us!”

The Sanhedrin believed that the apostles made them responsible for sending Jesus to the Cross. The high priest could not bring himself to name Jesus but only referred to Him as “this” man. The idea of bringing Jesus’ blood on the Sanhedrin was that the council feared a popular uprising from the general population.

PRINCIPLE:

God’s providential hand is upon each believer.

APPLICATION:

Throughout the episode in our section of Scripture, God was guiding and directing the event. God provided the angel of the Lord to release the apostles from prison. Little do most of us know of God’s providential working in each step of our way. The apostles did not change their convictions based on convenience or public pressure. Their belief system rested in truth, not circumstance.

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