Acts 5:25

Dining room of Sgt York.

Saturday, 5 March 2022

So one came and told them, saying, “Look, the men whom you put in prison are standing in the temple and teaching the people!” Acts 5:25

Note: You can listen to today’s commentary courtesy of our friends at “Bible in Ten” podcast. (Click Here to listen).

You can also read this commentary, with music, courtesy of our friends at “Discern the Bible” on YouTube. (Click Here to listen), or at Rumble (Click Here to listen).

The previous verse showed the men of rank baffled concerning the disappearance of the apostles, wondering where things would next turn. Luke’s narrative doesn’t take long to answer the question as the next verse begins to resolve the matter, beginning with, “So one came and told them.”

The verb is an aorist participle and more closely reads, “And a certain one having come” (BLB). The priests and temple guards were standing around dumbfounded, and it is during this time that someone arrives bearing incredible words for them to consider, “saying, ‘Look, the men whom you put in prison’”

It was probably not intentional on the part of the person, but his words actually reflect the incompetence of these leaders and their inability to control the events occurring around them. “The men you put in prison… you know, the ones that aren’t there anymore. Well, have I got news for you!”

Luke’s narrative of the events is certainly precise, but it is almost like a comedy at this point. These are the leaders of the religious life of the people of Israel. They have the authority of the law of Moses behind them. And yet, they are completely unaware of what is happening and ineffective in controlling what is going on. With this comedy of events unfolding, the level of humor only increases with the next words, saying that the apostles “are standing in the temple.”

The list of people who were referred to in the previous verse was, “the high priest, the captain of the temple, and the chief priests.” Their duties centered on the temple! And yet, the apostles were already there at the temple. While these men had been home sleeping, the apostles had been brought out of a locked and guarded cell. And instead of running home or fleeing to Galilee, they were standing in the temple that these leaders were responsible for.

The word “standing” implies a fearless and purposeful attitude. It is exactly what the messenger who brought them out of the prison had said –

“Go, stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this life.” Acts 5:20

The apostles had complied, and they had done so exactingly, including that of the final words of the verse, which say that they were “teaching the people!” The priests bore the law of Moses. The Levites were then between the priests and the people as instructors of the law. And yet, these apostles were there teaching the people something new because the covenant they spoke of was new. Moses was taken away (Hebrews 10:9), his law was now obsolete (Hebrews 8:13), and as such, it was annulled (Hebrews 7:18) for all who would come to Christ.

This is what the introduction of a New Covenant means, and this is what the apostles were sharing with those who would hear them. But what was certainly just as galling to these leaders was that the apostles were even speaking at all. Peter and John had recently been arrested when they had healed the lame beggar. When they were brought before the leaders for a trial it says, “So they called them and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.”

In continuing this, the apostles were arrested. But in their escape from the prison, they were right back in the temple and teaching about life in Christ Jesus again. The situation would certainly seem intolerable to the leaders!

Life application: Do you believe the gospel? Do you believe that you will live forever because of what Christ did? Do you truly believe this? Then how can you shut up about it? Who can keep such things in? We are all destined to die because these bodies we have are mortal and corruptible. But if you truly accept that the message of the Bible is true, what happens to us now is hardly worth considering.

It is true that pain can really, really stink. Inconvenience is inconvenient. And loss is frustrating. But if this is all temporary anyway, then what does it really matter in the end? Let us tell the world about what we possess. Don’t hide away the one thing that can truly change the lives of people permanently. Be bold! Tell the world about JESUS!

Lord God Almighty, You hold the span of our lives in Your hands. Nothing will happen to us that You didn’t already know would occur. As You possess this knowledge, please give us the supernatural peace that is found in Christ Jesus to accept what happens, to not let it deter us from telling about Jesus, and to keep our eyes on the life which is truly life – the life that lies ahead. Help us in this, O God. Amen.