Acts 5:29 – But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.”
As the apostles continued with boldness, many signs and wonders were regularly done among the people (v12) and more than ever believers were added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women (v14). The people recognised their own sin and what they had allowed to happen to Jesus. Repentance was taking place and faith in God’s power was growing every day. As they had done before, they once again brought the sick out into the street so that as Peter came by at least his shadow might fall on some of them. I find this recognition of God’s power truly incredible; do we, his followers, have this much faith?
These signs and wonders caused jealousy to build within the high priest and the Sadducees, to the point that they arrested the apostles again and put them in prison. But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and brought them out and said, “Go and stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this Life.” The next morning, when the council sent for the prisoners, the report came back that the prison was locked but the men were not there. Discovering them in the temple, they were brought before the leaders (again). The discussion that took place and the apostle’s defiance of their previous instruction, only added fuel to the fire. We are told that the council were enraged and wanted to kill them.
One man stopped them. His name was Gamaliel, a teacher of the law held in honour by all the people. He reminded his peers of two other men, in previous years, who had drawn people away with their teachings but who ultimately came to nothing and their followers scattered. He suggested to the leaders that they do nothing in this instance,
‘for if this plan or this undertaking is of man, it will fail; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them’ (v38).
Gamaliel at least recognised that God was no respecter of men and could use whomever he wishes to do his will. Whether he realised it or not, he had acknowledged God above everything else, just as Peter and the apostles had.
Don’t neglect God’s will for your life but embrace it with boldness, for His will cannot be overthrown and through obedience to Him, we too are declaring God Above All.