Scripture Quoted: Acts 6:34-38
How do we know that Jesus really is the Messiah that God sent to save the world? Can we trust that this Jesus guy is any different that the self-proclaimed Messiahs from before and after his time? Should we devote our lives to this man Jesus?
These questions did not originate in this time. In fact, they were even being asked during the time of Jesus and shortly after his accession to heaven. In the passage of Acts 6:34-38, we see clear case of questioning towards Jesus’ position as Messiah and his decibels honesty.
The Pharisees where standing in front of the Disciples in hopes that they would suppress the message of Jesus they where spreading. When the twelve refused to stop and preached to them right then and there, an uproar sprouted and the Pharisees wanted to kill them all. One particular leader named Gamaliel, gathers everyone’s attention and actually gives solid wisdom in the situation.
“But a Pharisee in the council named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law held in honor by all the people, stood up and gave orders to put the men outside for little while. And he said to them, Men of Israel, take care what you are about to do with these men. For before these days Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody, and a number of men, about four hundred, jinxed him. He was killed, and all who followed him where dispersed and came to nothing. After him Judas the Galilean rose up in the days of the census and drew away some people after him. he too perished, and all who followed him were scattered. So in the present case I tell you, keep away from these men and let them alone, for if this plan or this undertaking is of man, it will fail;”
The reason there was always suspicion on if Jesus really was the Messiah, was because there were plenty of people before his time who claimed the same things that Jesus did—The Son of God and the Messiah. All of which was recorded to end like a fire quickly put out by the water of truth.
So what Gamaliel said made a lot of sense and set up a wonderful test to prove Jesus really is the true Son of God and Messiah to the people. All these other people mentioned in the passage made these claims, gathered people, and died; but there is one very important distinction between Jesus and the others. When the others died, their momentum and influence died with them. But when Jesus died, he GAINED momentum and influence!
People from all over held tight to the truth that they witnessed Jesus coming back from the dead and that the holy spirit had entered into their lives—even to the point of horrible death for many of them. No one dies for what they clearly know to be a lie. No one gives up on everything their lives had and follows a man for three years, suffers persecutions, and dies for something false!
So yes Gamaliel, you’re right, the real way to tell if this is purely of man and is to observe the facts and see if it dies off. The Answer? It only grew.
Remember that our faith is based on the eye witness accounts of Jesus, the incredible Son of God who predicted his own death and resurrection and followed through with it. Because of logical and factual proof, we know that Jesus can be trusted in his claims and we can be sure that a life devoted to him and God, is not one wasted in the slightest.
©Isaac Cain, 2019 --Used by permission