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  • Writer's pictureSt. John's Lutheran

Jesus' Love and Purpose Never Fails

Acts 5:33-40 New International Version (NIV)

33 When they heard this, they were furious and wanted to put them to death. 34 But 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. 35 Then he addressed the Sanhedrin: “Men of Israel, consider carefully what you intend to do to these men. 36 Some 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. 37 After 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. 38 Therefore, 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. 39 But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.”

40 His 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.

Friday - April 24 - Read Acts 5:33-40

This passage is a little confusing. This very well-known and respected

Pharisee, Gamaliel, on one hand seems somewhat sympathetic. He might be

interested in learning more about the resurrection of Jesus. However, he

also compares Jesus to other well-known revolutionaries who died and their

movements fizzled out. Is he interested or cynical? Maybe both. Either way

he did not support them or keep them from being beaten! We may

encounter many people who are not hostile to Jesus or Christianity.

However, they are not necessarily interested. This should be no surprise to

us. Our faith is not in our ability to persuade others, but in what Jesus did for

us. We are called to preach. Only God can pierce and transform hearts.

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