Beaten for the name of the Lord! – Acts 5

English: St. Paul. From the Acts of the Apostl...

English: St. Paul. From the Acts of the Apostles printed in , Georgia, in 1709 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After the apostles had not backed down, but had indeed accused the Sanhedrin in Jesus’ death, they were furious and wanted them killed. Then verse 34 says that a Pharisee in the council named Gamaliel spoke up. Paul spoke of this man in Acts 22:3, saying that he had been educated “at his feet.” Verse 34 says that Gamaliel was “a teacher of the law held in honor by all the people.” He had the prisoners taken outside, so that he could address the council privately.

Gamaliel reminded them about a man named Theudas who had “claimed to be somebody,” and had gotten about 400 supporters. He had been killed and his followers dispersed, and it came to nothing. This verse perks up the ears of skeptics looking for “errors” in the Bible because Josephus wrote about  a Theudas that led a revolt sometime between 44-46 A.D. But that could not be who Gamaliel was speaking of here. Of a certainty, there were many men with that name. He also spoke of a similar event with a Galilean named Judas. We certainly know there were plenty of men with that name! The point that Gamaliel was making was that they needed to slow down and give this “movement” some time.

He told them that if this movement came solely from men, it would fail — it would fizzle out on its own. If, on the other hand, it was from God, the council was fighting against God — and they would fail. The council, by and large of course, did not believe for a moment that the apostles were acting on the authority of God. But Gamaliel’s words did serve to calm them down and consider less emotionally.  So instead of having them killed, they beat them, charged them (again) not to teach in Jesus’ name, and let them go.

The apostles rejoiced on their way, Luke tells us, because they had been “counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name.” Did they stop teaching in Jesus’ name? Certainly not. Verse 42 says that they did not even stop doing it in the temple where they had been arrested!

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Acts here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 2 Chronicles here

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Please check out my Books and my Facebook Author’s Page. You will find the links at this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books“.

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Interrogating the Apostles – Acts 5

The Holy Spirit depicted as a dove, surrounded...

The Holy Spirit depicted as a dove, surrounded by angels, by Giaquinto, 1750s. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The officers brought the apostles from the temple to appear before the Sanhedrin, and the high priest questioned them. He reminded them that Peter and John had been warned not to teach in Jesus’ name. Now, he said, they had “filled Jerusalem” with that teaching. He also said that the apostles intended “to bring this man’s blood upon us.” Jesus’ blood, from the point of view of which he spoke, was already “upon them,” of course, and he knew it very well. What he really meant was that these twelve men could very well get the people stirred up against them so much that members of this council might even be physically harmed for Jesus’ death.

Peter and the other apostles with him did not mince any words, and they did not reply sheepishly in any way. What they told him was that they must obey God rather than men. In no uncertain terms, they were telling this council that what they were doing was being done by God’s command, and they would not stop doing it. What a bold and courageous thing to say before the very men that had sent Jesus to His death!

Then they let them know not only who Jesus was, but that His blood was indeed upon their hands:

The God of our fathers raised Jesus, whom you killed by hanging him on a tree.
God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior,
to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.
And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit,
whom God has given to those who obey him.

They looked their accusers right in the eyes — men who could send them to their deaths for these word, and spoke as if God Himself was looking after them. And in fact, that was exactly what He was doing!

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Acts here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 2 Chronicles here

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Please check out my Books and my Facebook Author’s Page. You will find the links at this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books“.