Today let's focus in on verses 21-28. Remember, the Apostles were in prison because of the jealousy of the religious leaders of the day.
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.
Life without Jesus hope and power leaves us with all questions and few answers. This leads to despair which can lead to destructive behavior. It is a downward spiral to fall into the emotional battlefield produced by pride, jealousy, anger, etc. Many times, these emotions come out when a person becomes confused by a situation they thought they understood or they thought they had control of...realization sets in that control was never the goal in the first place. Jesus never held onto control of others. They gave him allegiance because of His love expressed and His Power displayed. Now the Apostles were following the same idea and getting similar results.
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. And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest questioned them, 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.
Funny, the leaders found the disciples in the one place they were supposed to be themselves: teaching the people! It is always embarrassing to get caught 'not doing' what you are supposed to be doing. How often do we take out our shame on someone else when it is us that deserves the punishment?
The disciples had gained momentum by spreading the message of life...it was exhilarating and contagious! They couldn't and wouldn't stop now...and they would explain why...in hopes of liberating these wayward leaders. It is important to 'do' the work of the ministry. It is also critical to 'explain the WHY'. If the world doesn't know why we serve God and why we do good and why we love...then we have failed. It was now time for the Apostles to share the story of Jesus. Each time they shared, it seemed to come out a bit differently. It will be true for you as well. Your testimony will change based on your audience and how The Lord and The Holy Spirit guide you. The Gospel is unchanging.