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  • Writer's pictureChristy Schuette


June 8

I Kings 1-2

Psalm 69:19-28

Proverbs 15:15-17

Acts 5:17-42



“A Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law who was respected by all the people, stood up in the Sanhedrin and ordered the men to be taken outside for a little while…. And now I tell you, stay away from these men and leave them alone.  For if this plan or this work is of men, it will be overthrown, but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them.  You may even be found fighting against God.  So, they were persuaded.”  Acts 5:34, 38-39 HCSB


Gamaliel was a very wise man.  Throughout history there have been numerous religions and cults that have come and gone.  A charismatic leader convinces a group of people to follow him, but once the leader dies, the followers fall away.  If Jesus had been just another charismatic man or great teacher, Christianity would not have survived for centuries.  After the crucifixion, the disciples were scared and confused.  They ran away and they were hiding in fear that they would be killed for following Jesus. And yet these men who were afraid to even admit they knew Jesus were responsible for the formation of the early church.  Because of them, millions of people throughout the ages have heard about Jesus and have believed that He is God’s Son, the Messiah and have accepted Him as their personal Savior.  In fact, each of us owe our salvation to their willingness to tell others about Jesus.  Historical documents reveal that eight of the eleven disciples died as martyrs because they boldly preached the gospel and shared the good news about Jesus.  John died on the Isle of Patmos after being exiled there for unashamedly proclaiming his faith.  Two of them were crucified, one was stoned, and one was lanced.  The method of death for the others is not given, only that they died as martyrs. 


So, what happened after the night of Jesus’ crucifixion that changed these frightened, cowardly men into bold, courageous apostles who were willing to put their lives on the line to proclaim that Jesus is the Messiah? Obviously, it was the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.  Throughout history people have suggested that the resurrection did not happen.  Some claim that the disciples stole His body and then made up a lie about His resurrection.  There were numerous eyewitness accounts of people who saw Jesus after His resurrection that refute this theory.  But I think even more compelling than the eyewitnesses, is the fact that these men, and many others, were completely changed.  They were convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that Jesus was who He said He was, and they risked everything to tell everyone they could about Him.  If they had stolen the body and made up this elaborate hoax, they would not have spent the rest of their lives telling people about Jesus and then been willing to die to maintain the lie.  The only explanation for their changed lives is that they saw for themselves that Jesus had risen Himself from the dead and they knew He was the Son of God, the Messiah, and their Savior.  As Gamaliel told the Sanhedrin that day, if their work had been of men, it would have been overthrown.  But the fact that Christianity is still in existence today is proof that it was indeed from God.


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