Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Acts, chapter 5 part 2 revisited

Behold the power of God to triumph over the foolish plans of men. That is what we see here in Acts 5. Once again, the leaders of the day thought they could stop the gospel, this time by taking a different tact. Once again, they failed. We have evidence because the gospel is still going strong today despite their efforts.

34But a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law, who was honored by all the people, stood up in the Sanhedrin and ordered that the men be put outside for a little while. 35Then he addressed them: "Men of Israel, consider carefully what you intend to do to these men. 36Some time ago Theudas appeared, claiming to be somebody, and about four hundred men rallied to him. He was killed, all his followers were dispersed, and it all came to nothing. 37After him, Judas the Galilean appeared in the days of the census and led a band of people in revolt. He too was killed, and all his followers were scattered. 38Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. 39But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God."

40His speech persuaded them. They called the apostles in and had them flogged. Then they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. – Acts 5:34-40

I have never heard of Judas the Galilean or Theudas. I have, however, heard of Jesus. Instead of continuing to persecute the disciples, the Pharisees decided that leaving them alone was best. Gamaliel was actually quite astute here, and it makes me wonder what he thought of this situation later on. He knew that if they left it alone and the movement didn’t die out they would be fighting against God, which they were.

Does this give us hope for the future? Absolutely! I am encouraged that the gospel will go on despite my efforts, even though I don’t feel as if I am living the gospel like I am asked to.

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