Friday, August 28, 2009
Jesus as the Christ
34 Then one in the council stood up, a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law held in respect by all the people, and commanded them to put the apostles outside for a little while. 35 And he said to them: “Men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what you intend to do regarding these men. . . . 38 And now I say to you, keep away from these men and let them alone; for if this plan or this work is of men, it will come to nothing; 39 but if it is of God, you cannot overthrow it—lest you even be found to fight against God.”
40 And they agreed with him, and when they had called for the apostles and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. 41 So they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name. 42 And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.
Acts 5:34-35 & 38-42, New King James Version
Jesus as the Christ
I have always been impressed by this speech by Gamaliel, a member of the Jewish council. He urged the council to leave the apostles alone, with this logical argument, "And now I say to you, keep away from these men and let them alone; for if this plan or this work is of men, it will come to nothing; but if it is of God, you cannot overthrow it—lest you even be found to fight against God.”
Unfortunately, the speech appears to have been forgotten after this incident with Peter and and the apostles. What was the real problem that the council had with the new believers? Why did they not heed Gamaliel's advice and let the matter drop? They were not concerned that the people were followers of Jesus, but they were enraged that the new church preached Jesus as the Christ, the Anointed One, making Him equal to God.
How do people of our day think of Jesus Christ? Who do people truly worship? What do true Christians believe?
These are all very important questions; ones that we cannot neglect! Our very relationship with Christ as believers hinges upon our understanding and belief that Jesus was not just a good man, but He was and is the Christ, the Son of God, and the only Savior of the world.
How should that belief affect our lives? Who or what should be the most important focus of our lives?
True Christians understand that the only focus of their lives, no matter what their circumstances or professions, is the Lord Jesus Christ. Everything else, (family, friends, careers, etc.), pale in comparison to our love for the Lord and our service for Him.
Does that mean we can neglect our families, friends, and careers to serve Christ. No! Our circumstances of life have been brought about by God, and we are to serve Him right where we are. If we are parents, we are to be the best parents we can be. If we are doctors, lawyers, or executives, then we need to be the best doctors, lawyers, and executives that we can be. If we are employed in factories, fast-food restaurants, or even are slaves, we must be the best employee or slave that we can be!
That is the amazing thing about Jesus. When we serve Jesus as the Christ, we understand that we are servants of God Almighty, and whatever our situation here on earth, we are adopted children of God. This lowly life has an end, when we will be ushered into the Kingdom of God to live eternally as children of the King.
Oh, what a Savior!
God Bless You,