And being let go, they went to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said to them.…
Released from the restraint of law, the apostles returned to "their own company," and there they related what they had passed through. We may be sure that the whole of that community of brethren entered, with deep and strong sympathy, into the feelings of their two leaders; they all felt that a very critical hour had come to that new cause which they represented. Under these circumstances they bethought themselves of -
I. THE RESOURCE OF THE DEVOUT. "They lifted up their voice to God with one accord" (ver. 24). They felt, as their prayer indicated, that:
1. All power was in his mighty hand: "Thou art God, who hast made heaven," etc. Vainly would the heathen rage, and kings and rulers conspire against the "holy Child Jesus," the Son of the living God.
2. A gracious purpose was in his sovereign will. However earthly potentates might imagine they were carrying everything their own way, they were but "doing what his hand and counsel determined before to be done" (ver. 28).
3. He could impart a power which would make them superior to all fear of man. They asked for boldness of speech (ver. 29), and, with this end in view, for signs of his presence (ver. 30). Prayer is the constant, unfailing resort of all holy souls. What time we are afraid we must trust in him; we must flee unto him to hide us.
II. DIVINE ENCOURAGEMENT. (Vers. 31-33.) The Lord responded to his people's prayer, and granted them:
(1) a manifest sign of his presence and favor (ver. 31);
(2) the fearlessness of spirit they so much desired (ver. 31);
(3) power to testify of Christ (ver. 33); and
(4) inward, spiritual confidence and joy: "Great grace was upon them all" (ver. 33).
God now vouchsafes to his waiting children the blessings they seek of him: the assurance of his presence, power to act as his witnesses, success in their labors, rest and joy of heart in him and in his service.
III. THE COMMUNITY OF THE FAITHFUL. (Vers. 32, 34-37.) The essential part of this passage is the opening sentence, "The multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul" (ver. 32). The measure which they adopted, viz. a community of goods, was peculiar, exceptional, transitory. It is not a practical method, suited to such conditions as those in which we find ourselves. It is not enjoined by apostolic word, nor is it sustained by subsequent apostolic practice. It was evidently special, local, temporary. But it is essential that those who belong to the same heavenly kingdom, and especially those who are members of the same Christian Church, should
(1) cultivate a true and deep sympathy, "oneness of heart," and
(2) take some practical measures to supply the wants of the necessitous from the treasury of those who have more than they need. - C.
Parallel VersesKJV: And being let go, they went to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said unto them.