“When they had brought them, they stood them before the Council. The high priest questioned them, saying, “We gave you strict orders not to continue teaching in this name, and yet, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.” But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:27-29).
The chief priest with the Sadducees had arrested the apostles and put them in prison. When they had gathered the council, they sent to the prison to bring the apostles, but they were not there, although the doors were locked. The apostles were found in the temple teaching the people. The priest and the council were upset because they were preaching Jesus and His resurrection. Many people were listening to them and accepting the fact that Jesus was God’s Son. This message was being made known to all Jerusalem. This fact would mean that the high priest and the council had condemned the Son of God. They did not want to accept their guilt of crucifying an innocent man, let alone God’s own Son. From their own mouth they admit that if Jesus was innocent, they were guilty. They may have thought that when Jesus died their troubles would be over. The preaching of His resurrection was being acknowledge by many people. This was making the chief priest and the council really look bad in the eyes of the people. They may have been worried about losing their sway over the people, because many were obeying the teaching given by the apostles.
The high priest and council had commanded the apostles not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus (Acts 4:18). They continued teaching the people, even in the temple where the high priest thought he had control. Their answer to the council was: “We must obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom you had put to death by hanging Him on a cross. He is the one whom God exalted to His right hand as a Prince and a Savior, to grant repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins” (Acts 5:30-31). Gamaliel, a Pharisee, advised the council, “if this plan or action is of men, it will be overthrown; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them; or else you may even be found fighting against God” (Acts 5:38-39).
Will you accept the message from God and obey to obtain salvation?
Highland Drive church of Christ
Poplar Bluff, MO