By Michael C. Mack
When is civil disobedience acceptable and appropriate?
Read Acts 5:27-29, 33-42.
There are two groups in this passage: the apostles and the Sanhedrin members. Match each group with the appropriate emotional response: blaming boldness, defiance, fury, joy, resentment, jealousy (also see v. 17). What do each group’s emotional responses tell you about their hearts?
What words would you use to describe Gamaliel’s argument? cautious? cowardly? rational? foolish? other?
Considering that the apostles had just been flogged, how do you explain that they walked away rejoicing (see also Matt. 5:10-12)?
When it comes to disobeying human authorities in order to obey God, what do you do to assure that your actions are in obedience to God?
Look at the following phrases and discuss what they suggest to you about how to share your faith: rejoicing; day after day; in the temple courts and house to house; never stopped teaching and proclaiming; good news; Jesus is the Messiah.
Michael Mack leads church training events and consults with churches through his ministry, Small Group Leadership (www.smallgroupleadership.com).