I find it difficult to know if Gamaliel was a sympathiser with the Christians or not. I wonder whether he eventually became a Christian. Whatever the answer to these questions may be, it is certain that he had a level of wisdom that was used by God to clear the way for the proclamation of the Christian message. The logic Gamaliel uses is faultless and it would seem to me that if he lived to see the success of the Gospel he, himself, would be forced to follow his own logic and surrender to the Christian Gospel. However, we do not know if this happened or not!

What is critical for the spread of the Gospel is that his argument gave rise to a relative peace and acceptance of the fact that here was a new message that might be worth listening to and considering. The proof of its veracity or truthfulness would be seen whether it was long-lasting or just another fad that is here today and gone tomorrow. If there is substance and truth to the message then it will endure and therefore we have no right to obstruct its advance.

One of the great dangers facing Christianity today is the constant ‘splitting’ of congregations into new sects or denominations. This splitting, I believe, is contrary to the will of God as it weakens the unity of the Church and thus weakens the witness we have before the world. The fact that many of these new sects/denominations of Christianity disappear almost as quickly as they rise is evidence of my belief. Using the principle of Gamaliel we would have to say that they are not really of God. That is, they are the result of the will of men and not God and so go the way of all things mortal!

As we seek to follow Christ it is important that we allow our beliefs to be tested, not just by natural means but also by submitting them to the authority of the Church. Jesus gave us an institution beginning with the apostles and it has endured to this day as a living witness to His will.

How do I understand my place in the Church when it comes to proclaiming the Good News? Am I willing to go wherever the Lord leads me?

Holy Spirit, help me to always submit my life to the truth of the Gospel and to those you have given authority in my life. Let me see this as an aid in my walk with you and not a hindrance.