But…Acts is reading a lot like that children’s book called “Fortunately”.
The disciples are doing signs and wonders, people are getting healed and the church is growing by leaps and bounds.
I had been wondering how the Jewish leaders were feeling about sick people lining the streets and multitudes being added to the list of believers and those troublesome disciples? Here’s where the shoe drops.
The high priest rises up with all his Sadducee buddies because they are boiling over it. I know it says full of jealousy but when you look up zelos it means boiling over from heat. The positive use of the word is “zeal” and the negative use is “jealousy” depending on the context. Here you figure it’s negative because they arrest all the apostles and put them in the public prison.
(I pretty much should know that when I’m trying to follow Jesus it won’t be long before the enemy takes a swing at me. It might be through another person’s words or actions. Sometimes it takes me a bit to figure out who is really behind the punch. I might stagger. My confidence wobbles. And the ringing in my ears sounds a lot like mocking – “Boy, are you clueless.” Soon discouragement locks the door and I don’t want to risk again.)
But Fortunately …
In the middle of the night the Lord sends an angel to lead a jailbreak…well, he opens the doors and shows them the way out. (It was dark and I’m guessing no pathway lights out of the dungeon area.) Lest there be any confusion, the angel has come with a direct message from God: “Go and stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this Life.”
(I just don’t think Jesus wants us sitting around in the dark and discouragement is not from Him. His voice does not mock. Instead He calls forth the best – maybe he redirects but when He speaks the directions are clear “Go, Stand, Speak…I’ve got you covered. You’re not working for them. You’re working for me.” Oh, and as for Satan…he’s a liar.”)
And don’t you know, when the Jesus guys heard this they entered the Temple at daybreak and began to teach. I’d call that bold and zealous!
He calls, He equips, He sends.
When it comes to God’s directives – Be bold, Be zealous.
About the World?
Yes, Virginia, there are angels.