Acts of the Apostles 5:17-26
The high priest intervened with all his supporters from the party of the Sadducees. Prompted by jealousy, they arrested the apostles and had them put in the common gaol.
But at night the angel of the Lord opened the prison gates and said as he led them out, ‘Go and stand in the Temple, and tell the people all about this new Life.’ They did as they were told; they went into the Temple at dawn and began to preach.
When the high priest arrived, he and his supporters convened the Sanhedrin – this was the full Senate of Israel – and sent to the gaol for them to be brought. But when the officials arrived at the prison they found they were not inside, so they went back and reported, ‘We found the gaol securely locked and the warders on duty at the gates, but when we unlocked the door we found no one inside.’ When the captain of the Temple and the chief priests heard this news they wondered what this could mean. Then a man arrived with fresh news. ‘At this very moment’ he said, ‘the men you imprisoned are in the Temple. They are standing there preaching to the people.’ The captain went with his men and fetched them. They were afraid to use force in case the people stoned them.
Jesus said to Nicodemus:
‘Yes, God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him may not be lost
but may have eternal life.
For God sent his Son into the world
not to condemn the world,
but so that through him the world might be saved.
No one who believes in him will be condemned;
but whoever refuses to believe is condemned already,
because he has refused to believe in the name of God’s only Son.
On these grounds is sentence pronounced:
that though the light has come into the world
men have shown they prefer darkness to the light
because their deeds were evil.
And indeed, everybody who does wrong
hates the light and avoids it,
for fear his actions should be exposed;
but the man who lives by the truth comes out into the light,
so that it may be plainly seen that what he does is done in God.’
Men have shown they prefer darkness to the light
In my final year of university, there was a period of time when I was staying on campus and heavily addicted to the role-playing game called Maple Story. I would talk about it with my friends, but I never mentioned the fact that there were several weekends where I was so into it that I delayed going home, giving excuses that I was busy with work when I was actually gaming. It was not something I was proud of, and the fact that I kept it secret was an indication that I was doing something wrong.
Some people might say that well, some addictions do not cause harm to anyone, so they should be ok. The problem does not lie with what one is addicted to, but with the fact that it binds the person’s freedom – the person is essentially a slave to it.
Jesus died to free man from sin, but that is not really evident in our lives, since many of us are still trapped by it. What is the problem? Somehow or other, we are still not doing enough; we are still missing the mark. I still find myself confessing the same old sins, and sometimes I wonder why I can’t seem to behave in a more Christ-like manner. It could be that I have difficulty accepting the fact that Jesus has already conquered sin on my behalf. I need to really die to my sinful habits. According to Aristotle, one way of doing so would be to keep practising virtues, so that in time to come, those acts of virtue would become a habit and a part of our disposition.
“In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 6:11)
(Today’s OXYGEN by Edith Koh)
Prayer: We pray that we may always live in the truth and light of Christ.
Thanksgiving: We thank the Lord for redeeming us and promising us eternal life.
Thu, 05 May – Acts of the Apostles 5:27-33; John 3:31-36
Fri, 06 May – Acts of the Apostles 5:34-42; John 6:1-15
Sat, 07 May – Acts of the Apostles 6: 1-7; John 6:16-21
Sun, 08 May – Acts of the Apostles 2:14.22-33; 1 Peter 1:17-21; Luke 24:13-35; Third Sunday of Easter