And the high priest asked them, 28 saying, "Did we not strictly command you not to teach in this name? And look, you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this Man's blood on us!"
29 But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: "We ought to obey God rather than men. 30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus whom you murdered by hanging on a tree. 31 Him God has exalted to His right hand to be Prince and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. 32 And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him."
41 So they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name. 42 And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.
– Acts 5:27-32; 41-42
I recently heard the perseverance with which the apostles shared the Gospel in this passage compared to a short, scrawny guy who gets pushed down in jest by his tall, well-built friend and then gets right back up and encourages his friend to “bring it on.” While it is true that the apostles ignore the human authority, they by no means have the cocky and childish attitude of one who encourages his harassers to “bring it on.” They don’t encourage the pharisees to persecute them. They simply hold fast in the Truth. It just so happens that it’s not the popular thing to do. If we seek to do what is unpopular, we have the wrong motive; our goal is in the wrong spot. Instead of seeking to bring the wrath of our enemies upon us, we should seek to share Christ, regardless of what people think. We shouldn’t emphasize the conditions under which we must do something as our goal. Rather, we should make the goal the goal and stick to it. Paul runs for the prize. Why? Not for the sake of running, but for the sake of the prize? And what is our prize? It is Christ, our Lord and Savior.