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Moral dilemma: Do I obey God or you?

This Week’s Story relives American history and the Bible through brief inspiring stories presented on mp3 audio recordings and text for reading.

A House Divided

“Bart, stop talking about politics and religion.  You know we’ll get mad at each other.”

“So? Marcus, we’re friends.  Listen to me. Something big is happening among our people.  It may change our future.”

“Oh Bart, don’t be so dramatic. We’re common people with no power against the government or the priests.  Stay with the flow.”

“No, I am not cancelling my dreams. I’ve spent too many hours hearing about our roots and struggles.”

“Okay, get extreme, but you’ll pay.  The Romans and the priests don’t tolerate people like you.  You’ll end up in prison, if you’re lucky.  Jesus was crucified by the priests and Romans.”

“Marcus, come with me to the Temple. Something new is happening there.  I want you to hear two guys named Peter and John. They’re fishermen, who were with Jesus for three years. They’ve been speaking at the Temple’s east side for several days to crowds.  Come.  See what’s going on.”

At the Temple grounds the two men found Peter talking to a crowd.

Peter said, “Jesus was crucified here in Jerusalem by the religious leaders, but God raised him from the dead. Through Jesus there is salvation.”

“That man has courage!” Bart told Marcus. “A few days ago the Council of religious leaders told him and John, ‘Do not speak or teach about Jesus.’

“Those guys did not back down. They stated, ‘We cannot stop telling people about the wonderful things we have seen and heard.  Do you think God wants us to obey you, instead of Him?”

“Marcus, you should have seen the priests.  They were sputtering protests. Their faces gleamed hatred, but they were scared to take the men.   The crowds hugely respect them. If the Temple guards imprison Peter and John, there might be a riot against the priests.

“People have seen Peter and John doing miracles.  I saw a man walk, whom I know has been crippled from birth.   He’s over forty years old. He was at the Temple and asked Peter and John for money.  Peter said, ‘I don’t have any money to give you, but I will give you something I do have.  In the name of Jesus, get up and walk.’

“Marcus, Peter took that man’s hand and he got up and walked. Many, many people saw it happen.  They were astonished. Peter explained to them, ‘Don’t look at us as though we have some magic power.  We don’t.  It was God’s power and faith in Jesus that caused this.’

“Many people believe that Jesus is who Peter and John say he is.  Several people also remember words they heard Jesus say.  They remember miracles that Jesus did.”

“Marcus, look at these believers.  Listen to them!  Question what’s happening.  Many of these people you and I have known for years.  They are not the same people they used to be.”

“They still come to the Temple, but they call themselves believers in Jesus.  They meet in each others’ homes, share meals, and help each other.  They listen like thirsty people drink water when Peter and John teach. I’ve never seen anything like what’s happening in Jerusalem now!”

Marcus interrupted, “Looks like trouble is here. The guards for the high priest are arresting Peter and John.”

The guards loudly announced, “These men are going to jail.  They will be brought to trial.”

“Marcus, this story is not over. Let’s go home.

This is Barbara Steiner with a famous story from the book of Acts in the Bible.  The main events are true, but I did create the characters of Marcus and Bart, based on the biblical setting and conversations. Please check out

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