When the court officers had brought the Apostles in
and made them stand before the Sanhedrin,
the high priest questioned them,
“We gave you strict orders did we not,
to stop teaching in that name.
Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching
and want to bring this man’s blood upon us.”
But Peter and the Apostles said in reply,
“We must obey God rather than men.
The God of our ancestors raised Jesus,
though you had him killed by hanging him on a tree.
God exalted him at his right hand as leader and savior
to grant Israel repentance and forgiveness of sins.
We are witnesses of these things,
as is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him.”
When they heard this,
they became infuriated and wanted to put them to death. (Acts 5:27-33)
Obedience is a very important part of our lives.
From the time we are very young, we learn the value of obedience.
Our parents taught us that we needed to obey. Failure to do so would incur consequences.
Why should we obey? Our parents gave us several good reasons:
- For our own good
- To avoid negative consequences
- Because it was the right thing to do
- Out of respect
- To avoid something bad happening to us
Those are all pretty good reasons to obey our God as well.
We obey Him for our own good. Obeying Him will bring us a greater share of grace which, in turn, helps us to be better people.
We obey Him to avoid negative consequences. If we obey God, we know that we will remain on the right track and will not hurt ourselves, will not hurt our souls.
It is the right thing to do. God has been so good to us and loves us so completely. It is simply the right thing to do to obey a loving God.
Out of respect to God who created us in His own image and who redeemed us when we were lost, we pledge our obedience to him.
Finally, we obey God so as to avoid eternal punishment. There is nothing more terrifying than thinking about eternal separation from God.
I am sure all these factors weighed in on the apostles’ decision to disobey civil authority in order to obey the Lord. The civil authority ordered them not to proclaim the name of Jesus. However, they were working on a greater command: the command of Jesus to go out and tell the Good News to all the earth.
Come to think of it, that was not just the command given to the apostles. It was given to each and every one of us as well.
FAITH ACTION: Have you been putting off something you believe God is calling you to do? Obey Him today.