Jail break- Wednesday, 2nd week of Easter- Acts 5:17-26
The narration of today tells us of the first jail break in the New Testament, and that too assisted by an angel. I guess heaven knows how to pick locks! But as much as this thought brings a smile to our face, what also should bring a smile is the witness of the apostles, for they had ‘faith without fear’.
There is nothing more terrifying than a justice system rooted in corruption. In this case the system was also motivated by ‘jealousy’ (5:17). The apostles have had great success with their evangelization, for we know that a record eight thousand people have joined their ranks and as 5:14 tells us, “a great number of both men and women were added to the Lord” (not to a Church or preacher as happens today).
The arrest of the apostles is not motivated by wrongdoing on their part but because of jealousy on the part of no less than the High Priest and a sect of the Sadducees. At this time, Joseph Caiaphas, known simply as Caiaphas, was the actual high priest, having been appointed in A.D. 17. He was deposed A.D. 37.
Caiaphas had married the daughter of Annas. Even though out of office, Annas seems to have exercised a dominant influence, perhaps, as the Nasi, the Prince, or President, of the Sanhedrin, during the remainder of his life. If he presided on this occasion, it may explain why St. Luke calls Annas “the high priest.”
It is the same Caiaphas who is said to have organized the plot to kill Jesus. Caiaphas is also said to have been involved in the Sanhedrin trial of Jesus. He had a good working relationship with the Roman authorities, and that explains why he stayed on in power for so long. Now, ‘the’ Jesus whom he plotted against, has come back and the believers keep growing.
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