SCRIPTURE: Acts 5:12-16, 27-34 The Message, 35-37 The Living Bible
12-16 Through the work of the apostles, many God-signs were set up among the people, many wonderful things done. They all met regularly and in remarkable harmony on the Temple porch named after Solomon. But even though people admired them a lot, outsiders were wary about joining them….
[The apostles were arrested by the Chief Priest and put in jail. During the night an “angel of God” let them out, and they went back to teaching in the temple]
27-28 The Chief Priest said, “Didn’t we give you strict orders not to teach in Jesus’ name? And here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are trying your best to blame us for the death of the man.”
29-32 Peter and the apostles answered, “It’s necessary to obey God rather than [religious authorities]. The God of our ancestors raised up Jesus, the One you killed by hanging him on a cross. God set him on high at [God’s] side, Prince and Savior, to give Israel the gift of a changed life and sins forgiven. And we are witnesses to these things. The Holy Spirit, whom God gives to those who obey [God], corroborates every detail.”
33-34 When they heard that, the authorities were furious and wanted to kill them on the spot. But one of the council members stood up, a Pharisee by the name of Gamaliel, a teacher of God’s Law who was honored by everyone…
35 Then he addressed his colleagues as follows:
“[People] of Israel, take care what you are planning to do to these men! 36 Some time ago there was that fellow Theudas, who pretended to be someone great. About four hundred others joined him, but he was killed, and his followers were harmlessly dispersed.
37 “After him, at the time of the taxation, there was Judas of Galilee. He drew away some people as disciples, but he also died, and his followers scattered.
38 “And so my advice is, leave these [ones] alone. If what they teach and do is merely on their own, it will soon be overthrown. 39 But if it is of God, you will not be able to stop them, lest you find yourselves fighting even against God.”