17 Then the high priest and all his associates, who were members of the party of the Sadducees, were filled with jealousy. 18 They arrested the apostles and put them in the public jail. Acts 5:17-18
Jealousy is called the big green-eyed monster. The Disciples were becoming popular and well-known, and the Sadducees couldn’t tolerate it. But there’s much more to this story.
Throwing Believers in jail has been in Satan’s “bag of tricks” for a long long time. It never works, and the Believers generally come away stronger and more determined than ever to preach the gospel. Or perhaps he’s conceited enough to think that “this time” the persecution will work, even as it has not worked for centuries!
This is considered a principle throughout Christianity: if you are beginning to make progress in growing the Kingdom of God, Satan will oppose you and try to stop you using any means possible. This is true in youth ministries, overseas ministries, Bible studies, and even in prayer.
Peter and John and the rest of the Disciples were plowing through Satan’s kingdom. It just so happened that Satan used the religious leaders of the day to try to stop it.
The challenge today is simple: what are you doing to challenge the darkness all around us? Even the itty bitty baby steps can make a difference.
On a related side note: my wife recently noted that everyone sitting in the large church we attend was there because of those 12 Disciples.