Daily Word

Responding to guilt | Acts 5:27-32

27 Then they brought the apostles before the high council, where the high priest confronted them. 28 “We gave you strict orders never again to teach in this man’s name!” he said. “Instead, you have filled all Jerusalem with your teaching about him, and you want to make us responsible for his death!”

29 But Peter and the apostles replied, “We must obey God rather than any human authority. 30 The God of our ancestors raised Jesus from the dead after you killed him by hanging him on a cross.[ c ] 31 Then God put him in the place of honor at his right hand as Prince and Savior. He did this so the people of Israel would repent of their sins and be forgiven. 32 We are witnesses of these things and so is the Holy Spirit, who is given by God to those who obey him.”

Acts 5:27-32 (NLT) 中文

Opposing God

A few posts earlier, we saw the Spirit of God working again mightily through signs and wonders done by the apostles. A holy fear spread among the crowd. Sick and possessed were being healed and delivered in dramatic ways. People were being drawn from cities outside Jerusalem and the church was growing. But the Jewish religious leaders were jealous so tossed all the apostles into prison. But God sent an angel to free them. So the apostles went to the temple and preached as the angel of the Lord had commanded them. They got re-arrested and brought for trial.

Guilt sets in

At this trial they demanded the apostles give account for why they were still preaching in Jesus’ name when they had strictly forbidden them earlier (Acts 4:18). Guilt is setting in. As the apostles preached Jesus, crucified and risen from the dead, it seems the religious leaders were getting convicted of crucifying Him. It was making them more than uncomfortable.

Obey who?

The emboldened apostles give the same response as in Acts 4:19, 20 – “But Peter and John replied, ‘Do you think God wants us to obey you rather than him? We cannot stop telling about everything we have seen and heard.’” And clearly, that is what they are doing. They chose to obey God rather than man.

“In general, the New Testament teaches that we should submit to those in authority over us. Yet submission on the human level is never absolute, and never is more important than submission to God.” (enduringword.com)

Clear testimony

Together they give a clear teaching and testimony: Jesus is Prince and Savior, alive from the dead after they crucified Him. Why? So all Israel would turn back to the Lord in repentance and be forgiven. Not only that, these apostles are witnesses of the event. Further, the Holy Spirit is also a witness – as proved by the signs and wonders being done by Him through the apostles.


  • The Jewish religious leaders were being convicted of their sin. Rather than confess, repent and believe, they chose to blame the apostles. How do we respond to the conviction of the Spirit? Do we do likewise or, do we repent? Is there something even now you need to confess and repent?
  • We’re asked again, “Whom do we obey? God or man?” When the temptation comes, when the idea to do what we know is not God’s will, when we disobey His call, we show who we obey.
Busted. Guilty. Image from houseofbombini.com *

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