I just read Acts 5. For those of you not familiar with this chapter, the apostles (Jesus' closest followers) appeared before the religious leaders of first century Jerusalem. The leaders told the apostles not to talk about Jesus. Peter and the other apostles replied by saying that they must obey God, rather than man. The leaders had the apostles flogged, and sent them on their way.
I noticed something interesting as I read this passage. The motives of the religious leaders are jealousy, and fear of appearing guilty. These are pretty petty reasons to punish someone, but then again these leaders were apparently pretty petty men with no confidence in their position of authority. If they really thought they were God's teachers, why were they so afraid of Jesus? True teachers don't fear the truth even when it is uncomfortable, and they don't fear falsehood because the truth shows it for what it is. Their fear came from a realization that Jesus presents a truth they didn't want to embrace.
Then I went back to the apostles, and thought about Peter's response to their orders. Why obey these petty pathetic cowards over God? Even though they had the power to flog or kill the apostles, Peter saw them for who they were. Cowards afraid to stand up for the truth. Peter and his friends chose to obey God rather than man. Given the quality of the men who wanted their obedience, the choice seems simple.
We who follow Christ must neither fear, nor answer to cowardly petty people. Answer to God. Be brave in proclaiming the truth.