The Winner Of The Super Bowl?
It’s about time for the BIG GAME. If you’re a football fan in the least, you firmly believe in your team of choice, and are probably betting on the winner. Argue all you want, but by the time we go to bed Sunday night the argument will be over. The facts of the game will declare who was right.
In the first century the popular movements were not about who was going to win the Super Bowl. For Jews under the bondage of Rome it was about who would rise up to deliver. First a man named Theudas promised, like Moses, to part the sea. Then Judas, a Galilean rose up, and claimed he was the deliverer. Check out what a learned scholar in the Sanhedrin had to say about what happened to both these men and then think about what happened to Jesus.
“When they heard what Peter and John said, they became furious and wanted to put them to death. Now in the Sanhedrin, a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a respected teacher of the Law in the opinion of all the people, stood and gave orders for the Apostles to be removed from the proceedings for a short time.
Then he addressed the group, ‘Men of Israel, be careful about what you are about to do to these men. For a while back, Theudas rose up and claimed to be somebody. About four hundred men rallied to his call. Then he was executed, all of his followers were dispersed, and it all came to nothing. After this in the days of the census, Judas, the Galilean, rose up and led a band in revolt. This one also perished and all who followed him were dispersed.
Therefore, now in this present case I’m telling you: Leave these men alone and let them be! For if their purpose and their work is only mans’, it will be thrown down, but if it’s of God, you will not be able to destroy it. You’ll only find yourself fighting against God.’ And he persuaded them.”
Those who proclaimed in the first century that Jesus rose from the dead didn’t disappear. And when they were dispersed, they spread the Good News everywhere. Let’s listen to Gamaliel’s wise words, and ask what they imply about whether or not Jesus is God’s Messiah or not.
LORD, thanks for how you used a learned, wise rabbi to save Peter and John’s lives when the Sanhedrin wanted to execute them. Use the force of his argument to challenge us today about who is the winner when it comes to being the Messiah.
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