Tuesday, 25 January 2022
And being let go, they went to their own companions and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said to them. Acts 4:23
With Peter and John officially released from the custody of the council, Luke records what immediately follows, saying, “And being let go, they went to their own companions.” The word “companions” is inserted. The Greek word, translated as “own,” can be a district, people, family, home, etc. It is a word designating something uniquely one’s own possession.
As such, a word like people, group, family, companion, and so on is appropriate. They were with an unfamiliar group, and they immediately returned to their own group. The lines are clearly drawn, and they show that even if all are of Israel, there is an unmistakable separation between the two. Once there, they “reported all that the chief priests and elders had said to them.”
In these words, there is a designation, chief priests, not noted in the earlier account. Instead, it mentioned the rulers, elders, and scribes, as well as Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John, and Alexander. The word has been used throughout the gospels, and it may be a way of referring to the priests who were serving or who had served as the high priest. The selection of high priests was as much of a political one as anything else. Rather than there being one high priest until his death, they were appointed by their rulers at this time.
Another possibility is that these were the leaders of the twenty-four courses of priests that were originally set up at the time of David to minister throughout the year in the temple complex. That division is found in 1 Chronicles 24.
Life application: The apostles have been commanded to not speak nor teach anymore in the name of Jesus. That is a part of what will be conveyed to the group that Peter and John have returned to. This is a time that probably caused them some consternation and so the very first thing they have done is to gather with other believers and to discuss what occurred.
There is a lesson for us in this, which is to seek the counsel of other believers when we are facing matters of great importance. In doing this, we can get a better sense of what to do because our own thoughts might be clouded by the events hemming us in. Others, however, can add in thoughts that have been unaffected by our own circumstances. This is stated early on in the book of Proverbs –
“A wise man will hear and increase learning,
And a man of understanding will attain wise counsel.” Proverbs 1:5
And again –
“Where there is no counsel, the people fall;
But in the multitude of counselors there is safety.” Proverbs 11:14
Let us take advantage of the wise counsel of others in order to make right decisions concerning the large and important matters we face. In doing so, we will surely avoid many pitfalls as we wind our way through life.
Lord God, may we be wise in how we conduct our affairs before You. When we face really important matters that can affect the direction of our lives, help us to use wisdom and seek out good advice when it is necessary. Lead us to do this. Your word shows that this is a good and proper path, and so may we take it and be spared the ills of going it alone! Amen.