When they had brought them, they had them stand before the council. The high priest questioned them, saying, “We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and you are determined to bring this man’s blood on us.” But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than any human authority.”
Have you ever been in trouble with the authorities? It can be pretty intimidating when those “in charge” tell you that you are in the wrong! Peter and the other followers of Jesus discovered that Jesus was alive among them. They felt compelled to share that knowledge with all they encountered. Even if it meant breaking the rules. Even if it meant upsetting the authorities. Even if it meant suffering the consequences. The reward of Jesus continuing to work among them was far greater than any penalty they would have to pay as a result. They knew that they were in the right. They were disobedient to the high priest. Worse, they enraged the authorities by pointing out that the one they had organised to be killed was now alive again. One of the jewish leaders, Gamaliel, urges the council to exercise caution… “but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them—in that case you may even be found fighting against God!” so Peter and the others are “let off” with just a flogging and being told not to do it again. That didn’t stop them of course! As they left the council, they rejoiced that they were considered worthy to suffer dishonor for the sake of the name.