When they heard this, the high council was furious and decided to kill them.Acts 5:33
But one member, a Pharisee named Gamaliel, who was an expert in religious law and respected by all the people, stood up and ordered that the men be sent outside the council chamber for a while. Then he said to his colleagues, “Men of Israel, take care what you are planning to do to these men! Some time ago there was that fellow Theudas, who pretended to be someone great. About 400 others joined him, but he was killed, and all his followers went their various ways. The whole movement came to nothing. After him, at the time of the census, there was Judas of Galilee. He got people to follow him, but he was killed, too, and all his followers were scattered. So my advice is, leave these men alone. Let them go. If they are planning and doing these things merely on their own, it will soon be overthrown. But if it is from God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You may even find yourselves fighting against God!”Acts 5:34-39
Rejoicing After a Flogging:
The others accepted his advice. They called in the apostles and had them flogged. Then they ordered them never again to speak in the name of Jesus, and they let them go. The apostles left the high council rejoicing that God had counted them worthy to suffer disgrace for the name of Jesus. And every day, in the Temple and from house to house, they continued to teach and preach this message: “Jesus is the Messiah.”Act 5:40-42
Now we come to the closing portion of Acts 5. It has taken us a while to work through this chapter. There has been lots of meaty stuff to deal with. And believe me, I have not commented on everything I have noticed. If I did that, I think I will die before I finished gemming Acts. I have seen it has taken us 15 Gems so far to cover Chapter 5. It’s taken 132 Gems and one year to gem Acts to this point. One whole year to do just five chapters and we still haven’t finished this 5th chapter. Don’t forget there are 28 chapters in the Book of Acts with some good stuff to come. At this rate it will take another four and half years to finish the book of Acts. What do you think about that? Does it please you and you love the detail or frustrates you because it takes so long? Give me your feedback. I guess there is another alternative as well, if you have read between the lines. You could request that I share with you everything I find. In which case I may well head off to heaven before I finish Acts. Food for thought.
Notice I have given you the last verse of the last segment as a lead in to this next section on Gamaliel’s Advice. It was necessary to do that because it is the statement which leads us to Gamaliel’s advice. That and the preceding questions that have already been asked:
- 4:16 “What should we do with these men?” they asked each other.
- 5:24 When the captain of the Temple guard and the leading priests heard this, they were perplexed, wondering where it would all end.(including all the significance of what this meant).
- Past and focused on how the disciples got out of a locked, guarded jail.
- Present and focused on what they the leaders should do.
- Future and focused on where was this all going to lead, part of which was how could they deal with these upstarts and yet not cause a riot.
It has now escalated to the point where these leaders are hopping mad and ready to kill the apostles. Think about it, Christianity could have come to an end right there!
Do you think that was possible or not?
Now is the time for you to look at this next section in detail and ask your nit-picking questions and then step back and look at the overall thrust of the passage to determine Luke’s purpose, or wider yet, the Holy Spirit’s purpose in giving us the Book of Acts and particularly this section. (Namely Chapter 5 – Ananias and Sapphira and the fall out).
Champions aren’t made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them—a desire, a dream, a vision.A R Bernard
Champions have to have the skill and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill.Muhammad Ali
If you’re not spending an hour every day improving your life, you’re wasting it!Anon
Anything will give up it secrets if you love it enough.George Washington Carver