The people were filled with joy and a reverent awe; God was in their midst.
But not everyone was thrilled.
“But the high priest rose up, along with all his associates (that is the sect of the Sadducees), and they were filled with jealousy. They arrested the apostles and put them in the public jail” Acts 5:17-18
These unprecedented occurrences were a threat to their influence, and in their fiery passion they were blinded to God’s presence.
When authority becomes a privilege, rather than duty, it creates a gulf between them and those they are called to serve.
The disciples, however, were amongst the people, bringing hope to those whose needs were beyond their own ability to handle. Isaiah 61:1-4
Unwavering in their determination to show the love of God, they preached the good news, healed the sick, and set the captive free.
By their resolve to follow Christ, they were becoming the spiritual leaders of the city.
The battle lines were more defined each day; the evidence would not change the ruler’s position.
Their answer was to proclaim, “This is not of God.”
Their solution, was to silence the disciples, and attempt to impose even greater controls.
“They called the apostles in and had them flogged. Then they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.” Acts 5:40
The move of God, it seems, is always resisted by the few who profess to be the voice of God for the people.
“The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name."
To suffer dishonor, shame and humiliation for whom they believed in was for them an honor and a sign of favor.
“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” John 10:26
The disciples knew “His Voice,” and followed in total disregard for what the world did or thought of them.
In the midst of all our daily confrontations, this is our constant challenge: not only, ‘Whose voice do you hear?’ But, ‘Whose voice do you follow?’