“But Peter and the apostles answered, ‘We must obey God rather than any human authority’” (Acts 5:29).
- In the book of Acts the first followers of Jesus called themselves “the Way”: people of the way of Jesus, the Way who is Jesus. Acts describes several key characteristics of these “people of the Way.”
- As people of the Way we are called to allegiance: “But Peter and the apostles answered, ‘We must obey God rather than any human authority’” (Acts 5:29).
- The Apostles were following the teaching of Jesus: “Seek first God’s kingdom.” God’s reign of justice and peace and life has begun in Jesus, and we as Christians owe our allegiance to this kingdom of God above any human kingdom or system of authority.
- The Apostles were holding to one of the first Christian creeds: “Jesus is Lord.” Jesus is the world’s true Lord, and we as Christians owe our allegiance to Jesus above any human leader.
- It is important, though, that we understand what this kingdom of God is all about, and who our Lord Jesus is. God’s kingdom is unlike any other kingdom on earth: the poor are blessed, the lost are found, the last are first, the sick are healed, the outsiders are welcomed to the feast. And Jesus is unlike any other lord: he gives himself in love for others, even his enemies, so that they might know true life and peace. This is the kingdom we seek, and this is the Lord we submit to.
Questions to Ponder:
- What are the human systems of authority or human leaders that I owe some form of allegiance to (e.g. teacher, company, employer, government)? Do they ever compel me to act contrary to God’s kingdom vision? What would I do if they did?
- How often do I consider Jesus’ kingdom teachings and the example of his life in making decisions in my life? decisions about what I do with my time and money? decisions about what causes I support, or how I will vote?