"Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number. As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter's shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by. Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by evil spirits, and all of them were healed." NIV translation
In spite of the persecution, people still came to know the Lord. Those that were Christians did not hide and tremble in fear but were out being an example and people noticed. God worked through Peter and people were healed. Word spread all around Jerusalem.
"Then the high priest and all his associates, who were members of the party of the Sadduces, were filled with jealousy. They arrested the apostles and put them in the public jail." NIV translation
Now the religious establishment is angry. Many people came to believe in Jesus from the signs and miracles that God performed through the apostles.
Now, the religious leaders see their influence and power slipping away so they round up the apostles and throw them in jail.
"But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the doors of the jail and brought them out. 'Go stand in the temple courts,' he said 'and tell the people the full message of this new life.' NIV translation
This first verse should be a reminder to us all that God is in control. No matter what the depth of our problems may be, He is still in control. The apostles were thrown into jail for telling the gospel and God sent an angel to get them out. The angel then tells them to go and preach the gospel. Many people (including Christians) are going around and wondering what their purpose is. This second verse tells us God's will for our lives.
"At daybreak they entered the temple courts, as they had been told, and began to teach the people. When the high priest and his associates arrived, they called together the Sanhedrin- the full assembly of the elders of Israel-and sent to the jail for the apostles." NIV translation
What an example of obedience for us today. The apostles, disregarding fear of return to jail or death, obeyed the Lord and went back to teach the people. We may think that they were special but we can all have a faith like that. If you are sold out to Jesus Christ, there will be no fear of imprisonment or death in fact it will be seen as an opportunity. Are you truly sold out?