Summary: Peter and John celebrate independance day. Supernatural freedom should inspire us to leave our jails and encourage action.

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Independence Day

Acts 5

We are continuing our study of Acts; the church is growing - almost exploding. We have two primary teachers, Peter and John. I imagine the others took a turn at telling what they know. They are team teaching in the Colonnade.

The apostils, disciples and believers….But no one else DARED join then.

It was not because they were scared of them. They were afraid of the authorities. They were afraid of the Jewish leaders. The word is passing into the outside communities and the sick and possessed, who were not allowed in the temple, were lined up along the streets just in case the group would pass by And All of them were healed.

Miraculous signs are happening. The sick and thoes tormented by spirits are healed. It sounds like amazing stuff is happening.

What an exciting time! People suffering, healed. People dieing – saved!

I sit and wonder how exciting that would be. If I lived in the day would I go to hear the preaching or would I be scared about what the leaders might do to me?

Would I wait out in the streets just hoping to get a glimpse of these apostles, Perhaps, sit just on the other side of a column or just outside of where they are teaching on the steps listening from a distance?

I hope I would have risked something. I hope I would take some tiny chance to hear what all the talk is about.

We are studying the early church; we are looking at the things that happened after Jesus departure as apostils learned to represent God on their own. You have to admit they had a pretty good teacher, but he was gone. Now they have the Holy Spirit that gives them instructions.

Our story leaves the inside the church snap shot and moves to an outside view of what was happening in the temple.

A couple of weeks ago the disciples were hauled into the Sanhedrin can commenced not to teach or heal in the name of Jesus. They left the meeting saying that they were going to obey God and not man.

Today’s scripture describes mass healings. It describes popularity as the people wanted to get close but not too close….maybe they were worried about what happened to Ananias and Sapphira. Scripture does not give us nay hints on that, so I tend to think that the Sadducees had a hand in intimidation.

The scripture gives us at least one motive of the Sadducees, They were filled with jealousy.

That is one that will get you in trouble every time. Trouble comes no matter which side you are on.

What is it that the Sadducees would be jealous of, well the apostles were popular, people get jealous of that today don’t they?

How about special abilities, talents, the apostils had that, the healing hat was happening.

So they arrest the apostils, last time we are told that it was Peter and John, this time it could be the whole bunch, who ever was teaching. They round them up and instead of holding them at the temple the send to off to the public jail.

It sure sounds like they were trying to put a little fear into these country teachers.

I have been doing some work out at the Public works complex, they use a lot of convict labor. I had a need for someone to put an antenna on a building and they told a prisoner to get in the bucket and do the work. While the officer went to get a tool I talked to the prisoner. He was smart, and well spoken, he was giving his supervisor advice on his daughter getting a job. The thing is he was giving good advice.

I asked him what brought him here to Rome Georgia…to prison.

He said, Drugs, I started using and then to get mine free, I started selling. Then one day the caught me. I had a good job, A wife and family, I messed up really bad.

Jail has been good for me. I’m not crazy mind you, I would rather be home. But Jail has taught me two things.

First, I never want to be in one again.

Second, There are some people that really need to be in jail, There are some dangerous people locked up here.

I think that put the disciples in the public jail as a threat. A little way of getting their attention, a hint that they don’t want to end up in there for a long time.

Then something special happens, “during the night an angel of the Lord opened the doors of the jail and brought them out. "Go, stand in the temple courts," he said, "and tell the people the full message of this new life." “

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