What does Acts 5:13 mean?
ESV: None of the rest dared join them, but the people held them in high esteem.
NIV: No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people.
NASB: But none of the rest dared to associate with them; however, the people held them in high esteem.
CSB: No one else dared to join them, but the people spoke well of them.
NLT: But no one else dared to join them, even though all the people had high regard for them.
KJV: And of the rest durst no man join himself to them: but the people magnified them.
Verse Commentary:
It's unclear what it means that "none of the rest dared join them." It probably means that only the apostles preached on the temple mount while the other Jesus-followers remained in town. This would be consistent with Acts 8:1 wherein many believers flee Jerusalem from Paul's persecution, while the apostles remain. At this time, the apostles enjoy special protection from death—although not from violence, as seen in Acts 5:40—but the new believers do not (Acts 8:3; 26:10). God equips us for the work He gives us, and it's not a sin to bow out where He has not called us.

The transformation of the apostles, however, is significant. When the guards and servants of the chief priests arrested Jesus on the Mount of Olives, the remaining apostles fled into the night (Mark 14:50). Only John boldly followed Jesus into the courtyard of the high priest (John 18:15) and the cross (John 19:26–27). While the women prepared spices for Jesus' burial, the disciples hid in a locked room (John 20:19). Under other circumstances, the Sanhedrin's arrest of Peter and John would have sent the apostles back to Galilee (Acts 4:1–22). But they have received the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1–4) and prayed with confidence for the courage to speak boldly (Acts 4:23–31).

The other Jesus-followers may stay away, but the public flock to the apostles for healing from illnesses and demon possession (Acts 5:16). Many of them come to a saving faith in Jesus (Acts 5:14). Jesus gave the apostles a mission to be His witnesses (Acts 1:8), and they perform that mission well, even when more serious persecution arises (Acts 5:40). Because of their dedication and courage, we have the gospel message today.
Verse Context:
Acts 5:12–16 gives a short update of the state of the early church in Jerusalem. The first chapters of Acts alternate between highlights of the activities of the apostles and short summaries of indefinite periods of time. As in Acts 2:43–47 and Acts 4:32–35, Luke glosses over the events here. People are a little leery because of Peter and John's arrest by the Sanhedrin (Acts 4:1–22) and God's immediate judgment of Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:1–11), but both the miracles and the message are irresistible. Even more people come to saving faith in Jesus.
Chapter Summary:
The apostles continue to make hard decisions in the name of Jesus, both inside and outside the church. When Ananias and Sapphira lie to God, the Holy Spirit inspires Peter to pronounce God's judgment on them, protecting the church from the love of the world. Despite the Sanhedrin's watchful eye—and direct orders (Acts 4:17–18)—the apostles continue to preach and heal openly. The guards arrest the apostles, but the Sanhedrin settles for beating them instead of capital punishment. The apostles consider it an honor to suffer on behalf of their Savior.
Chapter Context:
In Acts 5, persecution from unbelievers begins to accelerate. The Sanhedrin has become aware the apostles teach that Jesus rose from the dead (Acts 4). Now, they start to push back in earnest, arresting and beating the apostles. Soon, a mob will kill Stephen, a deacon (Acts 7:54–60), and the Sanhedrin will empower Saul to run down and arrest any Jesus-follower he can find (Acts 8:1–3). The apostles will stay in Jerusalem. Other Jesus-followers will carry His offer of forgiveness and reconciliation with God into the Roman Empire and beyond. The apostles' faithfulness and submission to the Holy Spirit is why we have the gospel message today.
Book Summary:
The summary of the book of Acts is provided in Jesus' words in Acts 1:8: ''But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.'' In Acts 2:1–13, the Christ-followers receive the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:14—7:60 describes the rapid growth of the church in Jerusalem. Chapters 8—12 find Jewish persecution inadvertently spreading the gospel throughout Judea and Samaria. And in chapters 13—28, Paul and his companions spread the good news throughout the Roman Empire.
Accessed 4/16/2024 2:13:55 PM
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