Friday in the Week of Easter 2

Acts 5.34-42; Psalm 26; John 6.1-15

Gamaliel was a grandson of the famous Rabbi Hillel, who flourished in the century before the birth of Christ.  Gamaliel was one of the most respected of the Pharisees; indeed, the parents of Saul of Tarsus, who were keen that their brilliant son receive the best education the ancient world could offer, brought him to study at the feet of Gamaliel. [Acts 22.3]

‘It happens over and over’, one can imagine Gamaliel patiently explaining to a seething meeting of the Sanhedrin.  ‘Crowd-pleasers emerge who attract followers.  When these demagogues die, however, their disciples quickly scatter.’

So far as the Sanhedrin were concerned, Jesus was dead.  If he wasn’t dead, where was he?
[cf Matthew 28.11-15] Certainly he was nowhere to be seen or heard, performing miracles, teaching and transforming men and women.

Or was he?  In his name, disciples were doing the works that had seen him do. [John 14.12] And in his name, followers were not being dispersed but drawn together.  ‘If this enterprise, this movement of theirs, is of human origin it will break up of its own accord’ Gamaliel asserted to his friends and co-religionists; ‘but if it does in fact come from God you will not only be unable to destroy them, but you might find yourselves fighting against God.’

Posted in Daily Reflection.