1 Kings 13-15; Acts 5

Acts 5:33-39 When they heard this, they became infuriated and wanted to put them to death.  But a Pharisee in the Sanhedrin named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law, respected by all the people, stood up, ordered the men to be put outside for a short time, and said to them, “Fellow Israelites, be careful what you are about to do to these men.  Some time ago, Theudas appeared, claiming to be someone important, and about four hundred men joined him, but he was killed, and all those who were loyal to him were disbanded and came to nothing.  After him came Judas the Galilean at the time of the census. He also drew people after him, but he too perished and all who were loyal to him were scattered.  So now I tell you, have nothing to do with these men, and let them go. For if this endeavor or this activity is of human origin, it will destroy itself.  But if it comes from God, you will not be able to destroy them; you may even find yourselves fighting against God.” They were persuaded by him.

Besides his towering wisdom and prudential judgment, Gamaliel it should be noted was also the personal teacher of Saul of Tarsus, later to become one of the greatest of saints, Saint Paul.  Also note that Theudas and Judas the Galilean were just put forth as examples: there were numerous individuals “claiming to be important” that arose and tried to ignite movements against Rome in the 1st century.  Theudas even had around 400 men under his banner, but he was killed (probably crucified) and his partisans were dispersed and “came to nothing”.  Jesus had only twelve men (and a small group of devoted women), and upon his gruesome death one killed himself and ten ran away and hid in fear.  When C.S. Lewis said you have three choices with Jesus, that either he was a liar, a lunatic, or exactly who he said he was; the words of Gamaliel are worthy of being deeply in coming up with an answer to Jesus’ great question “Who do you say that I am?”

GOD’S ANSWER: And what is your answer?  Who do you say My Son is?

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