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Common Prison (Acts 5:17-20) Ps TL Mukumba

Common Prison

Acts 5:17-20 → 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.”


Life would be very wonderful if everyone were to like us or liked what we do for God. Sometimes the more we try to do things for God, the more opposition we can expect to face. The more we try to tell others about Jesus the more hostile reaction for even some religious people.


When we are faithful in serving God and others, there will be those who will oppose our ministry and our lives. “Important” People Will Oppose Us. Important people are:

a. Those who are important in their own eyes

b. Those who are important in others eyes

c. Those who are important in God’s eyes

There are some important people that will be like:

  • the High Priest and those that are ready to enter into dispute with anyone or to rise against anyone

  • the Sadducees - “The righteous”. Those who believed on the Pentateuch as the inspired scripture only. They did not believe in the Existence of spirits and angels, the Immortality of the soul and the Resurrection of the body

The reason the Sadducees were particularly opposed to the apostles was that the apostles dwelt much on the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, which completely overthrew their doctrine. The important people had indignation; they were Envious with the success of the apostles, they were Jealousy. They felt as if their Zeal had been attacked. They had animosity, bitterness, displeasure, hostility, they felt insulted, offended, outrage, resentment and were spiteful.

They did not want the disciples to preach about this name and the resurrection. They were jealous because the apostles were preaching powerfully, doing miracles and people were following them. They resented the fact that someone else was getting the attention. Important People Will Try To Control us and put us in a Common prison. A common prison is:

a. Public

b. In full view of all

c. The public prison

d. The prison for the keeping of common and notorious offenders

This where my issue is. Today you need to deny any common prison in your life. Common prison of poverty, sickness, bad luck, lack of progress, unemployment and et cetera. Isnt it good that God is always ready to embarrass the enemies of your life in Jesus name. The Lord will embarrass the enemies in your life this year. When we analyse scripture we can see that; the religious leaders put the apostles in public prison publicly, but the apostles left through locked doors publicly. The religious leaders did not know where to find them. The apostles were found where the religious leaders should have been; caring for the spiritual condition of the people. Praise be to God that after experiencing God the apostles were found in the synagogue. Some when they experience breakthroughs they run from the church but some run to the church.

It surprising that Peter was put in the same prison but he led out with an angel in his sleep (Acts 12:5-10). Don’t worry about the common prison that you are in. You will be out soon in the Mighty and Matchless Name of Jesus Christ the Son of the Living God. Paul and Silas were also put in a prison in Philippi but when they praise the Lord and prison opened doors under the power of the Holy Spirit (Acts 16:23-27). Keep on praising Lord. You will soon march out. Rescue is coming. Soon and very soon. The Lord is still doing miracles. Keep on believing and praying.

The Pharisees opposed the apostles, but God fought for them. There will be those who will oppose our ministry and life but God Will Make It Possible For Us To Continue (v19) and send the right help (vs. 19a). God will send help when things are the darkest (v19c). He will send an Angel. A messenger of God. He will send one who is sent. He will send help in our night

A Night is the time when work ceases. It is the time for deeds of sin and shame. It is also a time of moral stupidity and darkness. When things don’t make sense and are looking bad, just know help is around the corner.

A Prison is a Cage. It’s where people or things are lock up. It’s also Guarded but God will break the Guard. Every prison will provided Go an opportunity for Him to display His power. The Plan Of God Is Totally Different From people. One thing that I noted is that God never releases us to hide but to minister. The deliverance of the apostles from prison was not that they might be idle, and escape to a place of safety but it was for them to praise God and minister the Gospel.

Psalm 2:1-4 → 1 Why do the nations rage, And the people plot a vain thing? 2 The kings of the earth set themselves, And the rulers take counsel together, Against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying, 3 “Let us break Their bonds in pieces And cast away Their cords from us.” 4 He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; The Lord shall hold them in derision.

Fear not in your life. God always breaks common prisons.


In Conclusion there are seven reason why I think God released the apostles from the prison are:

  • To encourage the apostles.

  • To prove that they were under God’s care.

  • To show Jewish Leaders that they were fighting against God.

  • To show Jews that they were persecuting true followers of God.

  • To show Jews that they were hindering the Gospel of salvation to all men.

  • To give Jews another loving reproof.

  • To give Jews another chance to repent.

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