Who do you Obey?

Acts 5. 27-33

27 The apostles were brought in and made to appear before the Sanhedrin to be questioned by the high priest. 28 “We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name,” he said. “Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man’s blood.”
29 Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than human beings! 30 The God of our ancestors raised Jesus from the dead—whom you killed by hanging him on a cross. 31 God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Saviour that he might bring Israel to repentance and forgive their sins. 32 We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.”
Who do you obey?33 When they heard this, they were furious and wanted to put them to death.

It just seems as if the High Priest just wouldn’t give up, they had killed Jesus and they thought that would be it.. but the Good News of Jesus just couldn’t be silenced. Peter and the other apostles were now willing to die rather than being silenced.

Peter and the Apostles were very clear about who they were obeying. They obeyed God.

What does it mean to obey?

The Oxford dictionary:

VERB

1 Submit to the authority of (someone) or comply with (a law): I always obey my father
1.1 Carry out (a command or instruction): the officer was convicted for refusing to obey orders
So, to obey someone is accepting that they have some kind of authority.  Who in our lives do we accept has authority? 
Perhaps we accept our parents have authority in our lives.  Why?
They create the rules that we live by.  If we break the rules we are disobey them.  So, if we live by their rules we are obeying them. Our parents want the best for us.  So when they tell us, look left and right, before you cross the road.  The reason they are telling us this is because they want to keep us safe – they don’t want us to get run over. 
When they tell us – 8 O’clock is bed time, there is a good reason for this because we have to get up in the morning to go to school.  If we spend the whole night awake, our school work will suffer.  We will be grumpy and not pleasant to be around. 
We trust our parents to set rules that are fair, and that will keep us healthy and safe. 
Even in society, we have rules we have to obey, they keep us all safe.
In our spiritual life we obey God’s rules because like a parent he wants;’
The disciples saw this and experienced it through Jesus.  They saw Jesus perform miracles, heal, feed, and touch those that needed God. 
Even Jesus obeyed God, by going to the cross.  Mark 14: 36 ‘Abba, Father, he said, “everything is possible for you.  Take this cup from me.  Yet not what I will, but what you will.” 
The disciples obeyed God.  Jesus prays for his disciples – John 17: 6-7 “They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word.”
For us, it’s not always easy obeying, either God or our parents.  For the disciples it wasn’t always easy obeying God, remember Peter’s denial.  But God knows that and has sent the Holy Spirit to be with us and guide us back to the right road.  We have to remember that rules are not given to make our lives difficult but to help us stay safe, happy, healthy and to guide us in the right direction.
There are lots of crafts on ‘obeying’.
I particularly like the obey-o-meter and the obey your parents ring toss.
My favourite game with the children is Jesus says put your hands in the air. (A version of Simon Says).
Ask the children to obey Jesus by doing what he says.
If you don’t say Jesus at the beginning and they do it, they have to sit down.
How many obedient children you have?
For older children find the Wordsearch below.

Obeying

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APOSTLES
AUTHORITY
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DISOBEDIENT
DISOBEY
FOLLOWING
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HIGHPRIEST
INSTRUCTION
JESUS
OBEY
PETER
RULES
TRUST

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About Michelle Bailey

Reverend Michelle Bailey is the Rural Officer for the Bishop of Brecon and Swansea  She previously worked in Children's Ministry and was ordained in the Church of England. Her blog includes ideas on presenting concepts of faith to young children to the age of eleven and furthering faith development in an educational context. Michelle currently lives in Wales and is also developing a rural ministry blog.
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