Takeaway: Verse 19
But an angel of the Lord came at night, opened the gates of the jail, and brought them out…
Welcome to The Bible for Busy People. I’m Erica Parkerson. This is the place where we meet up to read half a chapter of God’s Word together and remember how loved we are. Jesus extends an amazing invitation to us in the Bible. He says, come to me and I WILL give you rest. This is us RSVPing: Yes!! to that invitation. So, take a deep breath and let’s get started.
Today’s episode is called Hakuna Matata. Oh yeah. We’re going to talk about the Lion King in just a few moments, but first join me in a word of prayer before we dive into Acts chapter five and see what Luke, the doctor, slash journalist, wrote down for us to know long ago.
Father, we come to you in the powerful and precious name of Jesus. Lord Jesus, we just push aside the things that are pressing on us right now, and we press into you. We are so thankful for your presence. You’re here with us. Whatever is going on in our lives, and we are so thankful for that today in Jesus’ name, we give this time to you. Amen. Okay.
Acts chapter five. Here we go. Are you ready? But there was a certain man named Ananias, who with his wife, Sapphira, sold some property. Now, if you remember last time we were together, all of the apostles, all of the new believers were sharing everything. They were United in heart and spirit, and real estate too. So, keep that in mind. He brought part of the money to the apostles, claiming it was the full amount. So, he lied with his wife’s consent, he kept the rest. We’re going to see this is not such a good idea. Then Peter said, Ananias, why have you let Satan fill your heart? Those are big words right there. Only the holy spirit could have revealed what Ananias and Sapphira did to Peter.
Here we go. They didn’t tell anybody else. You lied to the Holy Spirit, and you kept some of the money for yourself. The property was yours to sell or not sell as you wished. And after selling it, the money was also yours to give away. How could you do a thing like this? You weren’t lying to us, but to God.
Whew. As soon as Ananias heard these words, he fell to the floor and died. Everyone who heard about it was terrified. Then, some young men got up, wrapped him in a sheet and took him out and buried him. About three hours later, his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. Peter asked her, was this the price you and your husband received for your land? Yes, she replied, that was the price. And Peter said, how could the two of you even think of conspiring to test the spirit of the Lord like this? The young men who buried your husband are just outside the door, and they will carry you out too. Woo. Instantly she fell to the floor and died. When the young men came in and saw that she was dead, they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. Great fear gripped the entire church and everyone else who heard about what had happened.
I’ve been thinking about that story and studying it and just thinking, okay, don’t lie to God. Don’t lie, period. Not a good thing. All right. The apostles were performing many miraculous signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers were meeting regularly at the temple in the area known as Solomon’s Colonnade, but no one else dared to join them, even though all the people had high regard for them. Yet more and more people believed and were brought to the Lord. Crowds of both men and women. As a result of the apostle’s work, sick people were brought out into the streets on beds and mats so that Peter’s shadow might fall across some of them as he went by. Crowds came from the villages around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those possessed by evil spirits, and they were all healed. They were all healed in the mighty and powerful name of Jesus. The high priest and his officials, who were Sadducees, were filled with jealousy. They arrested the apostles and put them in the public jail. Here comes our takeaway verse, verse 19, but an angel of the Lord came at night. Opened the gates of the jail and brought them out. Then he told them, this is what the angel said, go to the temple and give the people this message of life.
You can’t put the message of life, the message of Jesus in a jail cell. So, what does this have to do with the Lion King? I can’t wait to tell you. Remember that scene when Pumbaa, the warthog, is running from the hyenas, and Zazu, the bird, the babysitter for Simba and Nala? Remember Zazu he was kind of red kind of parrot looking? He was in a little jail cell, the hyenas were keeping him in jail, and so, he sees Pumbaa running toward him and Zazu like, “Let me out, let me out.” And Pumbaa’s like, “Let me in, let me in.” And it’s just a really funny scene. They’re both together in that jail. And I thought of that scene because whatever circumstances you find yourself in today, there is a reason for them.
God can use you in the midst of those circumstances. Zazu was in that jail perhaps to be kept safe from the hyenas for a time. And of course, Pumbaa was looking like a juicy barbecue meal for those hyenas. So, he needed to protect himself behind those bars. God had a reason for allowing Peter and John to be sent to prison. And he had a reason to bring them out. He sent an angel to rescue them. Now that’ll preach. When word got out on the streets, can you imagine what it was like to hear that story? To be walking around those streets, did you hear, did you hear an angel released Peter and John from the prison? And one day you’re going to have a story too, about how God broke through your circumstances and released you from whatever had you locked up inside. Your story’s coming too. All right. Till next time, remember, you are loved and Hakuna Matata. No worries. God’s got a plan and it never fails.
Thank you so much for listening to the Bible for Busy People. If you need prayer or you’re ready to go a little deeper in your faith, we’ve posted some resources for you in our show notes. We’d love for you to share this podcast with a friend and leave us a review. It helps us reach even more people with the hope of Jesus. This podcast is part of Purposely, a podcast network designed with practical podcasts to help you find and live in God’s purpose for your life. Find more podcasts that will recharge you at onpurposely.com.