The apostles are rearrested and brought before the Sanhedrin council again. “And the high priest questioned them, saying, ‘We strictly charged you not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and you intend to bring this man’s blood upon us’”(Acts 5:27-28). He is not only accusing them of disobeying previous threats, but also of the intention to turn public sentiment against them for crucifying Jesus. Now the apostles have angered the same council that condemned and conspired to kill Jesus.
Yet Peter and the apostles are not cowed by the threat. “But Peter and the apostles answered, ‘We must obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised Jesus, whom you killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him’”(Acts 5:29-32). They do not try to argue about disobeying the threat, nor do they try to pacify the rulers. They instead give the spiritual reasoning behind their actions: “We must obey God rather than men.” If God has given them instructions to act as witnesses of Jesus’ resurrection, no threat should stop them.
There are times when God’s instructions clash with what people tell us. People—perhaps even the government—forbid us from doing what God has instructed, or instruct us to do what God has forbidden. In such cases, despite our respect for government and other people, our course is clear: we must obey God rather than men. -----------------
One thing to think about: When do I feel pressure to obey men rather than God? Why?
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