even more Scripture: Acts 5:27-42
Key verses: (38b-39 ) Because if this plan or this undertaking is of human origin, it will fail; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them—in that case you may even be found fighting against God!
Reflection: You might call this the Gamaliel Test. How do you determine if something is God’s will? How do you know when the things around you are part of God’s plan or just random circumstance, or worse, something malevolent?
The Test comes from an unlikely source in this story of the early disciples. Peter and the disciples were thrown in jail for preaching the Gospel of Jesus’ death and resurrection. But during the night they escaped from prison and went right back to the temple and began teach the people, angering the religious leaders even more. The disciples were recaptured and brought before the authorities who were ready to “throw the book” at them all.
One Pharisee by the name of Gamaliel gave this advice: Be careful with these guys. In fact it might be better just to let them go and do nothing! Here’s why. If this plan or this undertaking is of human origin, it will fail; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them—in that case you may even be found fighting against God!
Maybe we don’t have to right every discovered wrong or fix every controversy. Maybe letting it go is the best course. Perhaps it’s enough to trust that God will sort things out and we don’t have to be in charge. Remember the Gamaliel Test.
Prayer: Give us wisdom, O God, to know when to fight for things and when to let go. Help us to relinquish our need to be in charge. Give us the courage to turn it over to you. In the name of Jesus Christ, who alone is Lord. Amen.
Author: Von Clemans