Acts 5:12–21 (NKJV)
12 And through the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were done among the people. And they were all with one accord in Solomon’s Porch. 13 Yet none of the rest dared join them, but the people esteemed them highly. 14 And believers were increasingly added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women, 15 so that they brought the sick out into the streets and laid them on beds and couches, that at least the shadow of Peter passing by might fall on some of them. 16 Also a multitude gathered from the surrounding cities to Jerusalem, bringing sick people and those who were tormented by unclean spirits, and they were all healed.Acts 5:12-16
From the Day of Pentecost outpouring of the Holy Spirit to the miraculous healing of the lame man at the Beautiful Gate, to the fear-inspiring death of Ananias and Sapphira, the New Testament Church gained incredible notoriety in the immediate area and beyond. News of these miraculous occurrences spread like wildfire, and the apostles began to be followed like modern-day superstars. Many of the Jewish faithful were hesitant to join them, but others went to the usual gathering place, the Porch of Solomon, to lay their sick on the street, hoping that if Peter–the presumed leader of the group–were to pass by, just his shadow would heal them. This reputation grew and people came from surrounding cities to be healed and delivered. This phenomenon was unlike anything that had been experienced before Christ’s time. Although Moses’ tenure saw some awesome miracles, this widespread healing and deliverance of so many from all walks of life was unprecedented. The church was moving forward mightily!
17 Then the high priest rose up, and all those who were with him (which is the sect of the Sadducees), and they were filled with indignation, 18 and laid their hands on the apostles and put them in the common prison. 19 But at night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and brought them out, and said, 20 “Go, stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this life.”Acts 5:17-21
21 And when they heard that, they entered the temple early in the morning and taught. But the high priest and those with him came and called the council together, with all the elders of the children of Israel, and sent to the prison to have them brought.
Again, after Peter and the other apostles created a big stir, the Jewish leadership became ruffled and disturbed. They put the apostles in prison, but in the night an angel came, opened the prison doors, and brought them out with instructions to preach in the temple again. They obeyed the instruction of the angel and taught the next morning. Meanwhile, the Jewish leadership sent to the prison to have them brought out for further deliberation.
Sometimes you will be persecuted, perhaps even punished for what you do for the Lord. People will misunderstand, misinterpret your words and actions, and mishandle you in the process. Do not be dismayed, for the Lord you serve may, as He did with the apostles, deliver you from the oppression of your enemies before your enemies even know He has. Just like the apostles were back in the temple the next day preaching, you will be delivered and back on the job before anyone even knows it. Trust God in the midst of your struggle. Pray in faith and believe for your deliverance. Know that an angel may already be on the way to your prison to set you free. Be ready, expect greatness, and receive the miracle God had for you!
Artwork from https://www.oceansbridge.com/shop/styles/renaissance-high/st-peter-healing-with-his-shadow-1427 and http://dustoffthebible.com/Blog-archive/2018/05/23/acts-devotional-commentary-acts-517-31-the-apostles-arrested-and-freed/