Daily Devotional Thursday 27th February 2020by William Moody
27 And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest questioned them, 28 saying, “We strictly charged you not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and you intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.” 29 But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men. 30 The God of our fathers raised Jesus, whom you killed by hanging him on a tree. 31 God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. 32 And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.”
33 When they heard this, they were enraged and wanted to kill them. 34 But a Pharisee in the council named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law held in honor by all the people, stood up and gave orders to put the men outside for a little while. 35 And he said to them, “Men of Israel, take care what you are about to do with these men. 36 For before these days Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody, and a number of men, about four hundred, joined him. He was killed, and all who followed him were dispersed and came to nothing. 37 After him Judas the Galilean rose up in the days of the census and drew away some of the people after him. He too perished, and all who followed him were scattered. 38 So in the present case I tell you, keep away from these men and let them alone, for if this plan or this undertaking is of man, it will fail; 39 but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You might even be found opposing God!” So they took his advice, 40 and when they had called in the apostles, they beat them and charged them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. 41 Then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name. 42 And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they did not cease teaching and preaching that the Christ is Jesus.
There is a bit of déjà vu here as once more the apostles are questioned about why they speak about Jesus and told to keep quiet (v27-28). Peter and the others are enabled again to speak boldly declaring they will obey God rather than men (v29). Have you similar courage to obey and speak for Christ?
As they speak here about Jesus (v30-32) they speak of the twofold witness that is always needed in seeing people come to trust in Christ (v32). There must be both the message of the apostles (scripture) and the power of the Holy Spirit working.
The Jewish leaders are furious and want to execute the apostles (v33) but God’s restraining hand is at work through this man Gamaliel (v34-40). He warns of the danger of them ending up fighting against God (v39). It is wonderful how God can use wise unbelievers in His plans.
The apostles are flogged, ordered not to speak about Jesus and released (v40). Their response is wonderful, they rejoice at suffering for Jesus (v41) and they never stop proclaiming the good news of Jesus (v42).
We need to pray for heavenly grace to know such rejoicing and courage in our witnessing for Christ.
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