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Unexplained Power

Acts 5:21b-24
When the high priest and his associates arrived, they called together the Sanhedrin – the full assembly of the elders of Israel – and sent to the jail for the apostles. But on arriving at the jail, the officers did not find them there. So they went back and reported, 'We found the jail securely locked, with the guards standing at the doors; but when we opened them, we found no one inside.' On hearing this report, the captain of the temple guard and the chief priests were at a loss, wondering what this might lead to. (NIVUK)

Jealous religious leaders had put the apostles in prison. It was an attempt to curb their enthusiasm about Jesus and to restore their own authority (Acts 5:17-18). But God had other plans. He sent an angel to unlock the jail and let them out so that they could continue publicly to teach about Jesus.

All that was unknown to the ruling council of the Sanhedrin who were summoned as the court was convened: the same court that tried Jesus (Luke 22:66-71) and had already threatened Peter and John not to talk any more about Jesus (Acts 4:18-21).

When the officers went to the prison to escort the apostles to court, they were not there. The guards were still at their posts; the doors were still locked but nobody was inside. The officials did not know what to do and doubtless thought about the empty tomb left by Jesus, and their inability to control the people who actively followed Jesus. The disappearance of the apostles posed yet another threat to the religious authorities.

God is always in command of everything. He has the power to do whatever He chooses. He uses the weak to frustrate the strong and the lowly to humiliate the mighty (Isaiah 40:23; 1 Corinthians 1:27). He is never prevented from fulfilling His plan, nor is His timetable ever altered. This passage should be a great encouragement to trust the Lord who can do the impossible in order to achieve His own purpose. It does not matter if the world is not on your side, as long as you are on Jesus' side (Romans 8:31-32).

God of power and might. Thank You that nothing can stop You fulfilling Your purposes. Forgive me for not trusting You when I think that the situation is impossible. Whatever my situation, or that of the people for whom I pray, please give me great confidence in the power of Jesus. I know that He will not allow anything to get in the way of building His kingdom. In His Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams