If we have to choose between obedience to God and obedience to any human authority,
then we must obey God. -Acts 5:29 [voice]

Throughout history men and women have faced challenges similar to the one that the apostles were confronted with here. In a very real sense these followers of Jesus were simply acting in a manner similar to their friend and master. In one sense it would have been so easy to obey these religious leaders. Yet in a deeper sense it would have been so hard.

In Les Miserables, that great musical based on Victor Hugo's novel, the protagonist is faced with a decision that will change his life and a man who is accused of a crime that he committed. Here is the way that Jean Valjean frames it:
If I speak, I am condemned. If I stay silent, I am damned!
The easy road is simply not that easy. Obeying our base survival instincts can so lead us astray. Seeing what happened to Jesus, it would have been understandable if the apostles went along with human authority. Yet these had seen more than the cross. More than the consequences of disobeying earthy leaders. These had seen the resurrected Jesus.

Instill courage in us Lord. Bravery to obey you in all things. A will to do your will.

... this devotion is part of an ongoing series on words in the bible.

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