An angel from the Lord released apostles who had been arrested by jealous government officials. He instructed them to go to the temple and instruct the people about the words of this life. Those words include the truth that Jesus is a Ruler and a Savior.
Many signs and wonders were being done among the people through the hands of the apostles. By common consent they would all meet in Solomon’s Colonnade. None of the rest dared to join them, but the people praised them highly. Believers were added to the Lord in increasing numbers—crowds of both men and women. As a result, they would carry the sick out into the streets and lay them on beds and pallets so that when Peter came by, at least his shadow might fall on some of them. In addition, a multitude came together from the towns surrounding Jerusalem, bringing sick people and those who were tormented by unclean spirits, and they were all healed.
Then the high priest took action. He and all his colleagues, those who belonged to the party of the Sadducees, were filled with jealousy. So they arrested the apostles and put them in the city jail. But an angel of the Lord opened the doors of the jail during the night, brought them out, and said, “Go and stand in the temple complex, and tell the people all about this life.” In obedience to this, they entered the temple complex at daybreak and began to teach.
When the high priest and those who were with him arrived, they convened the Sanhedrin—the full Senate of the sons of Israel—and sent orders to the jail to have them brought. But when the temple police got there, they did not find them in the jail, so they returned and reported, “We found the jail securely locked, with the guards standing in front of the doors; but when we opened them, we found no one inside!” As the captain of the temple police and the chief priests heard these things, they were baffled about them, as to what could come of this.
Someone came and reported to them, “Look! The men you put in jail are standing in the temple complex and teaching the people.” Then the captain went with the temple police and brought them in without force, because they were afraid the people might stone them. When they had brought them in, they had them stand before the Sanhedrin, and the high priest asked, “Didn’t we strictly order you not to teach in this name? And look, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to bring this man’s blood on us!”
But Peter and the apostles replied, “We must obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom you had murdered by hanging Him on a tree. God exalted this man to His right hand as ruler and Savior, to grant repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him.”
(Acts 5:12-32 HCSB ©®)