But the bulk of the chapter focuses on the escalating conflict between the apostles and the Jewish leaders. Or to be more precise, between the word of God and the Jewish leaders. In the Book of Acts, the Lord's word is treated as a force in and of itself, and those who try to stop the apostles and other preachers of the gospel find themselves on a collision course with the word. But in the book, nothing can stand in the way of the progress of the gospel.
- "And the word of God continued to increase" (Acts 6:7).
- "But the word of God increased and multiplied" (Acts 12:24).
- "So the word of the Lord continued to increase and prevail mightily" (Acts 19:20).
The word of God is always going to challenge the power structures of the world, whether religious or political. The gospel message which declares that Jesus is the only true Lord and Savior of the world defies any system which sees itself as the chief object of man's devotion. Disciples of the Lord must embrace this conflict, rejoice when privileged to suffer for Jesus, and keep the faith that in the end the word of the Lord will multiply and increase.