The Divine Script Writer: Acts 5:17-26
“17) But the high priest rose up, along with all his associates (that is the sect of the Sadducees), and they were filled with jealousy. 18) They laid hands on the apostles and put them in a public jail. 19) But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the gates of the prison, and taking them out he said, 20) “Go, stand and speak to the people in the temple the whole message of this Life.” 21) Upon hearing this, they entered into the temple about daybreak and began to teach. Now when the high priest and his associates came, they called the Council together, even all the Senate of the sons of Israel, and sent orders to the prison house for them to be brought. 22) But the officers who came did not find them in the prison; and they returned and reported back, 23) saying, “We found the prison house locked quite securely and the guards standing at the doors; but when we had opened up, we found no one inside.” 24) Now when the captain of the temple guard and the chief priests heard these words, they were greatly perplexed about them as to what would come of this. 25) But someone came and reported to them, “The men whom you put in prison are standing in the temple and teaching the people!” 26) Then the captain went along with the officers and proceeded to bring them back without violence (for they were afraid of the people, that they might be stoned).” Acts‬ ‭5‬:‭17‬-‭26‬ ‭
This is one of those amazing stories of deliverance in the book of Acts. It is similar to Acts 12:6-9 when an angel orchestrated the release of Peter, but not as many details are provided in this story.
It should be noted that more precautions were taken for Peter because he was sleeping between two soldiers. In the Acts 5:22-23 story the apostles were in a cell together with no soldiers in the cell. These guards developed a bad track record, but they tried learning from their mistakes. They lost the body of Jesus, now the lost the Apostles. Each time they double down their efforts. Do you suppose God was trying to get their attention?
We are left with speculation as to how the angel pulled off the Acts 5 deliverance. Did he open and close doors with a deep sleep coming upon the guards? Were they snatched away and translated to another location the way Phillip was in Acts 8:38-40? We have no answer.
What we do know is that God is sovereign and powerful. He can do whatever He wants, whenever He wants, wherever He wants and however He wants! He does not need to explain Himself. Very seldom does He do things the exact same way. He is creative and original in all of His ways. He writes the scripts and He is the movie Director.
Every script sets the stage for us to advance the gospel, experience personal growth and point people to God. Our role in the story is to listen to the Holy Spirit, obey His leading and walk by faith. I am convinced that God is as active in our stories today as at any time of biblical history. What a joy to walk through life hand in hand with the Almighty.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global