Jerusalem, 33 A.D. Not many weeks ago Jesus of Nazareth, a man many have called a prophet, was crucified here in Jerusalem. Of course Jerusalem has seen its share of prophets come and go, but this one hasnt left yet. Oh sure his body is gone. You dont see him anymore standing up in the temple courts teaching the people. You dont hear his voice proclaiming the glory of the Father. You dont hear people talking endlessly about his miracles. Or do you?
A number of his closest followers, the ones called apostles, have been seen and heard daily in the temple preaching, teaching, proclaiming the Fathers glory and performing miracles. And they have been doing it all in the name of this Jesus. They have been warned by the priests and rulers of the people to stop teaching in this name, but they continue none the less.
After a recent confrontation with the authorities, the apostles future was uncertain. The Sanhedrin had met to decide what should be done with them. Some of the other followers of Jesus feared that they would meet with the same fate as their crucified teacher.
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. Then he addressed them: "Men of Israel, consider carefully what you intend to do to these men. 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. 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. 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. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God."
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.
The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name. Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ. (Acts 5:34-42 NIV)
The good news! What is it? Whats it all about? Where did it all start? And who was this Galilean named Jesus? Continue reading, and together we will attempt to answer these questions as we share The Good News.
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Copyright © 1996 by Gerry Sturgeon
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®, Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.