Pastor Tom Grieb continues our series, "Champions of the Church."
Gamaliel was a highly respected rabbi of his day. He was an uncommon Pharisee. While he was bent on keeping the law to the last detail, the most important thing for Gamaliel was making sure God’s will was done. Gamaliel didn’t want to do anything that would stand in the way of God’s will. Gamaliel was rightly convinced that all things were in the hands of God and there was nothing anyone could do to ultimately stop that.
Gamaliel was also an unexpected ally of the early Christian church. He stood before the Sanhedrin, not so much to defend the Apostles, but the will of God. Threatening to put the Apostles to death, Gamaliel called on the Sanhedrin to slow down and take a broader view that included the possibility of God working through those that were now preaching about salvation through Jesus Christ.
“Leave these men alone!” he said. “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 may even find yourselves fighting against God.” Acts 5:38-39
The Apostles were freed that day, largely due to the courage, faith, and wisdom of one of the unexpected Champions of the Church, Gamaliel.
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