The unstoppable witness


“But a Pharisee named Gamaliel … addressed the Sanhedrin … ‘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.’” (Acts 5:34-39)

Within the religious leaders’ ranks there were those sympathetic to Jesus’ mission and followers. Was Gamaliel one of these? We don’t really know but he was given direction from God on how the apostles were to be handled. The religious leaders accepted Gamaliel’s counsel and the pressure was off the apostles for the moment. Gamaliel’s words, “you will not be able to stop these men” was prophetic. This persecution was nothing compared what was to come for the apostles. And yet the word about Jesus kept spreading and bringing converts.

It is amazing how the Holy Spirit kept moving through the apostles. They were not weak or timid in their witness to Jesus even when it would have been so easy to give up amidst the persecution. Only the inward working of the Holy Spirit could make for such persistence. And that brings us to us. Are we as persistent about Jesus today as were the first apostles? Is the Holy Spirit moving through us to lift up Jesus for the world to see? Let Gamaliel’s words be applicable to us, “you will not be able to stop these…”

Heavenly Father, by the empowering of Your Holy Spirit make our lives and witness for Jesus unstoppable. Enable us to be Your apostles today.

In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Pastor Robert Forsberg is retired from Light of Christ Lutheran Church in Fairborn.

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