Posted by / Tuesday 24 January 2017 / No comments

How Gamaliel saved the Apostles from death

Bible, Disciples, Jesus, God, Christian

It came to pass, one day, that the High Priest and the party of the Sadducees put the Apostles in a common prison because they continued to preach in the name of Jesus.

At night, an angel of the Lord came and opened the prison doors and released them. The angel instructed them to go into the temple and preach to the people about life. In the morning, the Apostles entered the Temple and preached to the people they found there.

That same morning, the High Priest had called together his Council. He had sent that the Apostles be brought to appear before them. When the officers went to the prison to bring the Apostles out, they did not find them there so they came back to report to the High Priest and his Council. When the High Priest and the Captain of the Temple, heard this, they were confused and did not know how this was going to turn out.

As they were still thinking about the matter, somebody came from the town and told them that the people they were looking for were in the Temple preaching to the people. The Captain of the Temple and the officers went to bring them, but without any violence because they feared that they might be pelted with stones if they used force.

The Apostles were set before the Council and the High Priest asked them whether they had not warned them not to preach in the name of Jesus. They asked them why they had filled the whole of Jerusalem with their teachings and blaming they the leaders for the death of Jesus?

Peter and the Apostles told them that they could not obey men; the only person they obeyed was God. They accused the Council of killing Jesus by hanging him on a cross and they spoke about how God had exalted Jesus and raised him to be on God's right hand side in paradise. When the Council members heard this, they became very angry, especially the Sadducees who did not believe in the resurrection of the body. They wanted the Apostles to be killed.
Christianity, Jesus, Apostle

Then arose Gamaliel, a teacher of the law and an expert in the Jewish traditions. He was also a member of the Council of Jerusalem and also a Pharisee. He ordered the Apostles to be put outside for a while. Then he told his fellow Council members to be careful what they did with the Apostles.  

He drew the attention of the Council to one Theudas who started a movement sometime earlier and drew a following of four hundred men. He spoke about how Theudas was killed and all his followers were dispersed. He also spoke about how Judas the Galillean, also arose during the census and also drew a large following. Gamaliel said this man was also killed and all his followers were scattered.

Gamaliel advised the Council to leave the Apostles alone in the present case. He said if what the Apostles were doing was a human undertaking, it was surely going to fail but that if it was of God there is nothing they, the Council, can do about it. Rather they would be found to be opposing God. The Council took his advice.

They called the Apostle back into the Council and beat flogged them. They then charge them not to preach about Jesus again and allowed them to go. The Apostles were happy that they had to suffer indignity for the sake of Jesus. After this, they went into the Temple everyday and in the homes and preached about the gospel of Jesus Christ.

St Peter, St Paul'S Outside The Walls
Not allowed to preach
One of the ways the Christian is being opposed today is that they are not being allowed to preach in some countries or in some schools.In United States, no one is allowed to evangelize with any religion, including Christianity.

Another way by which Christians are being opposed today is that some are killed if they profess belief in the gospel of Jesus. In some Arab countries, one could be beheaded for claiming Christianity.

Establishment of churches
In some parts of the world, one could not attend a church because there are none. In such countries, even the church building will not be allowed to go up.

Clash with traditional authorities
Another way the modern Christian is being opposed is through clashes with members of traditional religion. In Ghana, there are certain times of the years where noise making was banned for a period of time. This has resulted in some churches compromising on their core beliefs just to ensure the relative peace.  

Violent Jihadism  
Some jihadists have embarked on violent campaigns to attack Christians wherever they are. For example, the Boko Haram group operating in parts of Nigeria has put the lives of innocent Christians at risk because of their beliefs.

He was courageous
One would have thought that Gamaliel would be frightened by the number he was against but he was not. That shows courage.

He was kind
Another quality of Gamaliel was that he was kind. He did not support the taking of innocent lives, even the lives of people perceived to be against his religion.

Highly educated
Gamaliel was an educated man who knew the history of his people and could recall them at will.   

He was a peaceful man
Gamaliel was also a man of peace. He did not want the peace to be disturbed if the Apostles were put to death.

He was tolerant
Gamaliel was a tolerant man. Though the religion that was being propagated was alien to what he knew, he was still willing to tolerate their opinion.

1. a. How did God use Gamaliel to further the course of Christianity in the early church?
     b. Mention any four types of opposition that is confronting the church today.
2. a. How did Gamaliel save he Apostles during their trial by the Sanhedrin?
    b. Identify two qualities that can be attributed to Gamaliel.

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