The Takeaway. Acts 5.17-39
1/24/2017 11:16:48 PM
A wise rabbi imparts sage words.

The Takeaway.  Acts 5.17-39


When I taught fourth grade, the last thing I did after the students put their chairs atop their desks, was ask them what they learned that day.  Those called-on hands in the air were rewarded with a flying Jolly Rancher1 - all so that when their mums asked them what they learned in school, they could name at least one thing … a takeaway. A takeaway from the day of pencils and books and whiteboards.


Luke’s renderings in the first few chapters of the book of Acts are filled with passion, miracles, Holy Spirit power, bold teaching, accusations, explanations and growth in the number of believers in Jesus Christ.  Peter has gone from denier of the Lord to professor, preacher and proclaimer of the truth of the gospel in no uncertain terms!  The community of like-minded folks finds love, communion, faith and knowledge as they meet together regularly and continue to learn from the apostles’ teaching about the Messiah.  It is worth your time to read Acts 1-4


In today’s passage, we get a major takeaway. The ruling party of the Jews in Jerusalem (the Sanhedrin) are up in arms about the growing numbers of Christ-followers; they have beaten and jailed the accursed apostles, and still can’t stop them from teaching in the Name, about the Name, and in the power of the Name of Jesus.  [See, we can say ‘God’ anytime, anywhere – because people can interpret ‘God’ however they want, and make God in their own image, but say ‘Jesus’ and the gloves come off]


Read Acts 5.17-39:


And then Gamaliel2 spoke…

“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.” vs. 38-39


Truer words were never spoken. 

  If Jesus had been just a man,

     if he had been just a prophet or good teacher,

         if he did not fulfill all of the prophecies made about him,

             if he did not do what he said he would do,

                 if he had not risen from the dead,

                       there would be no Christianity.


For that is what Gamaliel was saying—if the apostles were peddling the false teaching of the day, it would all be for naught.  But they weren’t.  


The apostles were telling of the God who became man and walked amongst us and changed everything—they told of life with Jesus, watching him teach and love and heal.  The apostles recounted how he was arrested in the Garden, put through a mockery of trials, flogged and crucified. Ah, they remember how scared they were then that their own arrests would follow… but no, Jesus came out of Joseph’s tomb and lived and walked with them once again.  Indeed the apostles were relentless in their teaching about the Name because Jesus was the Messiah, sent from God.


What is your takeaway about this teaching, about Jesus?  The apostles just had to stand before a council of scared Jewish leaders, but one day we will all stand before God, riiiight?  And of this gift we have been given, the gift of Jesus/of salvation, we will be required to give an account.  See, once you have heard the truth you are then responsible for that knowledge.  Your takeaway will mean everything.


Hit ‘reply’ and let me know your thoughts, your struggles with the Name … why have you kept him at arm’s length?




1 – Jolly Ranchers are tasty sweet and sour hard candies

2 – Gamaliel – most highly-respected rabbi of the day