1 As they were speaking to the people, the priests and the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to them, 2 being greatly disturbed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. 3 And they laid hands on them and put them in jail until the next day, for it was already evening. 4 But many of those who had heard the message believed; and the number of the men came to be about five thousand
(Acts 4:1-4 NASB)
Peter has said some very powerful, and convicting things, as well as healing a lame man. But it’s not over yet! The ‘powers that be’ from the temple aren’t the slightest bit impressed about all of this, especially because it is all done to the glory of Jesus who to them was a blasphemer worthy only of death.
So what did those ‘powers that be’ do? They placed Peter and the others under arrest and threw them in gaol. The Bible suggests by the phrase ‘they laid hands on them’ that they did this forcefully, perhaps violently. Strongs concordance offers these definitions:
It’s fair to say that they did this forcefully, perhaps out of anger, perhaps out of fear.
That incredible day ended with around 5000 men giving their lives to Jesus, that number of course does not include women and children, so quite a massive harvest was reaped that day!
This is incredible. You would think that after seeing Peter and the others forcefully placed under arrest and taken away that everyone who was there would have responded perhaps with fear, and walked away from there not knowing what to do, but they didn’t. All of what they witnessed, including the arrest, convinced them of the Truth of Jesus Christ and the resurrection from the dead, so they gave their lives to Jesus.
Peter was ready for any situation that God either brought his way, or God allowed to come his way. The Holy Spirit filled him with power so that he would know what to say, what to do, how to do it, and the ability to do it despite any opposition that might arise.
The people around him were ready to receive Jesus even in the midst of this horrible situation created by the priests, temple guards, and Sadducees.
In one way or another everyone there, whether they be leaders, or followers, were ready for what God wanted to do, and didn’t shy away from it when the going got tough.