Connecting to the Larger Story
As people responded to the preaching of the gospel and the church began to grow, the disciples continued Jesus' disciples continued his ministry not only of teaching but also of healing. The religious authorities were threatened by the growing movement and looked for ways to silence the disciples by arresting and intimidating them. Yet the movement continued to grow and more people came to believe in Jesus.
Important to Note
1) Despite the best efforts of the religious authorities, the disciples stood firm against them and continued to spread the message of Jesus while the church grew. No matter what they tried, they could stop what God wanted to succeed. The advice that Gamaliel offers to the authorities reflects this idea: if Jesus were not from God, then the movement would fail much like the ones before; if Jesus were from God, then there is nothing they can do to stop the movement. So it is best for the authorities to do nothing and let God's will be done.
Thoughts for Reflection
1) Would we have the courage to continue preaching the gospel in the face of persecution?