A Voice of Reason

Then stood there up on in the council, a Pharisee, named Gamaliel, a doctor of the law, had in reputation among all the people, and commanded to put the apostles forth a little space; And said unto them, Ye men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what ye intend to do as touching these men.  For before these days rose up Theudas, boasting himself to be somebody; to whom a number of men, about four hundred, joined themselves: who was slain; and all, as many as obeyed him, were scattered, and brought to nought.

And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought: But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.

Acts 5:34-36, 38-39

After being punished and rebuked multiple times for speaking about Jesus, a voice of reason finally prevailed among the chief priests.  Gamaliel said that they should just leave Peter and John alone.  He said that, if their work was of men, it would soon fall apart and be gone.  On the other hand, if their work was of God, then neither these men nor any other men would be able to stop it, for even attempting to stop it would be fighting against God.

That was a reasonable attitude to take toward these new Christians.  We can now look at the historical record and see if Peter and John were just leading a movement started by men or if it really was of God.  I think we all know the answer.

The work continued far beyond the life of Gamaliel and far beyond even the lives of the apostles and members of this first church.  It continues even to this day.  You can follow it through the years, straight down from this church to our churches today.  What a wonderful Saviour!  And we can take Gamaliel’s advice and thank the Lord that we truly serve the God of Heaven!

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