God is greater than men Acts 5:33-42

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As the Apostles continued preaching, healing and teaching in the name of Jesus, the religious leaders couldn’t stand it anymore. They had to do something about it as they believed things had gotten out of hand.
The high priest and the other religious leaders were full of anger toward the apostles so they took them and threw them in jail. After they had healed the lame man earlier in the book of Acts the religious leaders had thrown them in jail, put them on trial, threatened them and commanded they didn’t speak or heal in the name of Jesus.
The didn’t listen and continued to go in the name of Jesus and while they wanted to stone them, they instead had a trial because they were worried about what the crowd would do. As they brought them into trial they asked them “didn’t we tell you not to speak or heal in the name of Jesus?” and the apostles answered how we should “it’s better to obey God than man”
After that the Apostles shared the gospel and the religious leaders were offended
This morning I want us to look at a word of caution to the religious leaders, the punishment handed down, and the response of the church

A word of caution to the religious leaders vs. 33-39

As the religious leaders heard what the apostles had to say they were cut to the heart vs. 33
They were offended by what the apostles had said to them.
The apostles had preached the Gospel to them
Martin Luther said this “the gospel cannot be truly preached without offence and tumult (agitation)”
Spurgeon said this “Avoid a sugared gospel as you would shun sugar of lead. Seek the gospel which rips up and tears and cuts and wounds and hacks and even kills, for that is the gospel that makes alive again. And when you have found it, give good heed to it. Let it enter into your inmost being. As the rain soaks into the ground, so pray the Lord to let his gospel soak into your soul.”
In Acts 2:37 the crowd responded to the gospel, but it was much different than how the religious leaders
In Acts 2 After they heard the Gospel they asked “what shall we do” and Peter told them they needed to believe the gospel”
Here in Acts 5 they “took counsel to slay them”
Gamaliel introduced vs 34
He was a pharisee
He was a doctor of the law
He is only mentioned one other time in the Bible
Acts 22:3 “I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day.”
Paul apparently learned from Gamaliel as a young man in the temple.
He had a good reputation among the people, he would’ve been respected by not only the people, but the religious leaders as well.
When he told them to put the Apostles away from them, they listened to him
Gamaliel’s warning vs. 35
He tells them to take heed what they are going to do to these men
Take heed here means use caution.
Gamaliel could see there was something different about these men and the one they follow.
When the world looks at us they should see that we are different than the world.
As Christians they should see that who we follow (Jesus) truly is God!
The false leaders vs. 36-37
Theudas vs. 36
a self proclaimed “messiah” type person who thought he was something.
Galatians 6:3 “For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.”
We are all nobody’s trying to tell somebody about Jesus, here Theuda would’ve rather talked about himself than about the true Messiah
Be careful of the preacher who would rather talk about his accolades than Jesus, and make sure you’re following Jesus and not a man!
He had a following of about 400 men
They were following a man instead of Jesus.
Jesus is who we should follow
Theudas was slain
You could go by his grave and he would still be there for all to see
When he died he stayed dead
His followers scattered after his death and the religion he tried to start was brought to naught or nothing
After Theudas came Judas of Galilee vs. 37
Judas of Galilee would’ve been around about the time of Jesus’ birth
He drew people to himself
He also died and stayed dead
All of His followers dispersed
Gamaliel’s perception of Christ and His followers vs. 38-39
He tells them to refrain from these men
he pretty much tells them not to hold these men
Let them alone
Leave these guys alone
If the counsel or this work be of men it will come to nothing.
When we think about what our church is doing, if it is for men ot will become nothing.
As a church everything we do should be done through the filter of “who are we doing this for?” If the answer is anyone or anything besides God we should stop doing it.
As a Christian the same filter should apply...
If this counsel and these men are of God then there is nothing we can do to stop it
Romans 8:31 “What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?”
If God is in something, no matter how hard Satan fights, no matter how hard the world fights, no matter how hard the naysayer fights, God will be victorious.
Gamaliel is pretty much telling them to watch them, if they are not following god they will turn to nothing, but if they are following God, nothing we try to do to stop them will work.
He ends his thought with a challenging statement to them
If they are of God, you cant over throw them, and i think you could be fighting God without knowing it.

The punishment handed down vs. 40

The religious leaders agreed with Gamaliel, so they called the Apostles back in
They beat the Apostles
They commanded the apostles not to speak in the name of Jesus
a lot of good that did
They let them go

The response of the church vs. 41-42

They departed from the presence of the counsel
they left all the religious leaders who had gathered to beat them
They were rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name
Matthew 5:11–12 “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.”
1 Peter 4:13 “But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.”
1 Peter 4:16 “Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.”
It’s okay for us to suffer for Jesus, it ought to be something we rejoice in as the apostles and early church did.
They continued preaching and teaching Jesus in the temple and in every house daily.
They had told the sanhedrin they weren’t going to obey men but rather obey God and that is exactly what they did.
When you preach Jesus you’re less likely to preach opinion and more likely to preach truth
When we preach Christ we should preach like Christ full of grace and truth.


To those who don’t believe the gospel it is offensive. This morning if you’ve never trusted christ instead of getting offended by the Gospel be like the people in Acts 2 who asked what am I supposed to do with this.
Come this morning and we can show you from God’s word what you should do with the Gospel
Christian- are you sharing the good news of the Gospel with those around you, one thing we can learn for sure in the book of acts is the Gospel is powerful, we need to tell others even if they get offended and persecute us because we can rejoice in that persecution.
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