Check out all the previous Acts readings here.
Acts Reading Plan | Week 5 | Day 4
In John 10, Jesus says, “I am the gate.” He provides the safety for His sheep. Take a moment to calm your mind and body and then pray, giving Him your insecurity and asking Him to remind you of His safety.
Bible Reading: Acts 5:33-42
Read these verses three times slowly.
When they heard this, they were furious and wanted to put them to death. 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 the Sanhedrin: “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 Messiah.
Reflection & Questions
The religious leaders were furious with the apostles for saying “we must obey God and not men” and the rest of what we read yesterday. They were ready to have the apostles killed right there and then.
But finally, there was some wisdom from among the religious leaders. Gamaliel was exactly right when he tells his fellow leaders: “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.” That’s great wisdom! God cannot be stopped.
This is why we are to seek the guidance of the Spirit and follow His lead. Gamaliel’s wisdom could be said about anything in our lives. If what we are doing is of human origin, in our own power, it will most likely fail. But if it is of God, it will be unstoppable.
Gamaliel’s wisdom did stop the mob of leaders from seeking the apostle’s death, but they were still whipped. Incredibly though, the apostles left “rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name.” This was a reaction that clearly showed they were filled with the Spirit. They were following His lead and He was empowering, guiding and strengthening them.
- How can you make sure that what you are doing is guided and empowered by the Holy Spirit (and is not of “human origin”).
- Where do you need to repent of doing things in your own strength?
Talk to God in response to the reading today..
You might use this song today to worship Jesus today:
Check out more Bible Reading Plans here.