They made [the Apostles] appear before the Sanhedrin to be questioned by the high priest. “We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name,” he said. “Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man’s blood.” Furious [they] wanted to put [the Apostles] to death. (Acts 5:27–28, 33, NIV 1984).
A Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law, who was honored by all the people, stood up in the Sanhedrin and…addressed them: “Men of Israel, consider carefully what you intend to do to these men [the Apostles]. 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.” (Acts 5:34–39, NIV 1984).
My Musings – Here is a man who was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman. He grew up in another village. He worked in a carpenter shop until He was thirty. Then for three years He was an itinerant preacher.
He never owned a home. He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never had a family. He never went to college. He never put His foot inside a big city. He never traveled two hundred miles from the place He was born. He never did one of the things that usually accompany greatness. He had no credentials but Himself…
While still a young man, the tide of popular opinion turned against him. His friends ran away. One of them denied Him. He was turned over to His enemies. He went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed upon a cross between two thieves. While He was dying His executioners gambled for the only piece of property He had on earth – His coat. When He was dead, He was laid in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend.
[Twenty] long centuries have come and gone, and today He is a centerpiece of the human race and leader of the column of progress.
I am far within the mark when I say that all the armies that ever marched, all the navies that were ever built; all the parliaments that ever sat and all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man upon this earth as powerfully as has that one solitary life.
This essay was adapted from a sermon by Dr. James Allan Francis in “The Real Jesus and Other Sermons” © 1926 by the Judson Press of Philadelphia (pp 123-124 titled “Arise Sir Knight!”).
My Advice – So, what should we conclude? Was this of “human origin” or was it “from God?” If the Biblical record (the ancient prophecies and their 100% fulfillment in the “one solitary life”) is insufficient to convince us that He was “from God,” then twenty centuries of being the “centerpiece of the human race” should be the icing on the cake. We are all “guilty of this man’s blood.” But once we stop “fighting against God,” we can find peace with God through that same blood.