Acts 3-4, Psalm 26
Like their Master before them, Peter and John stood and answered antagonizing questions about their source of authority to perform a merciful healing. The insinuation is that God is not the authority behind the healing the lame man, but rather some evil spiritual power. The Sanhedrin, struck by the clear, courageous refutation by these two lead apostles, and desiring to minimize damages, commanded them to cease preaching about Jesus. Peter and John offer a response that lays the foundation for any God-honoring civil disobedience. They state, “Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you, or to him? You be the judges! As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard. (Acts 4:19-20). Many times, especially in the New Testament letters, we are encouraged to obey different authorities in our lives. This includes governing authorities, parents, and elder leadership to name a few. The default of the Christian life is to follow different authorities God places in our lives. John and Peter’s response above clarifies the exception: when an authority demands us do something contrary to God’s will. For those called to live a peaceful life, we should desire to cooperate with those placed in authority over our lives. A simple rule of thumb moving forward is that the only time we are to disobey directives from authorities in our lives, is when they call us to disobey or dishonor our King.