Friday 06 May 2011

Bible Book:

"but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them" (v. 39)

Acts 5:34-42 Friday 6 May 2011


The first thing that strikes you when you read these verses (asinActs 4:15-17) is how did Luke (the author ofActs as well as the Gospel that bears his name) gives us theaccount of what Gamaliel said in the Sanhedrin behind closed doors(v. 34)? I suppose that one answer is that WikiLeaks is nothing newand we know how easily secret information can become publicproperty.

Gamaliel presents an argument against killing the Apostles,reminding the Sanhedrin about previous revolts, which had beenbased on beliefs that individuals such as Theudas and Judas ofGalilee were the prophesied Messiah (vv. 36-37), and which hadcollapsed quickly after the deaths of those individuals: "becauseif this plan or undertaking is of human origin, it will fail; butif it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them" (vv.38-39). Gamaliel's authority with his contemporaries was so greatthat they accepted his advice, regardless of how unwelcome itwas.

The council calling the Apostles in, they first had them flogged,which would mean 39 lashes. The law itself means forty lashes lessone (Deuteronomy 25:2-3). The term was meant to be abiblical one in that 40 lashes are what was determined enough tokill a man and thus 39 lashes was the most you give a man withoutdeclaring a penalty of death.

Then the Apostles were told, for a second time, not to speak in thename of Jesus, and let them go. The Apostles' reaction can onlyfill us with admiration they left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing (v. 41).This was an historic moment - for the first time Christianssuffered in their bodies for their faith and honestpreaching.

To Ponder

In its early days Methodism seen as an irritantby society. Methodism has stood the test of time but to what extenthas it lost its cutting edge? What can Methodism do to regainit?

Should more Christians be involved in politics?Why?

Previous Page Thursday 05 May 2011
Next Page Saturday 07 May 2011