Acts 5:27 When (the police) had brought (the apostles), they had them stand before the council. The high priest questioned them, 28 saying, “We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and you are determined to bring this man’s blood on us.” 29 But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than any human authority…” 33 When they heard this, they were enraged and wanted to kill them. 34 But a Pharisee in the council named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law, respected by all the people, stood up and ordered the men to be put outside for a short time. 35 Then he said to them, “Fellow Israelites, consider carefully what you propose to do to these men.. 38 I tell you, keep away from these men and let them alone; because if this plan or this undertaking is of human origin, it will fail; 39 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!”
Even among the Jewish authorities there was a voice of reason, that of Gamaliel. Most of the leaders were furious at the apostles. Their blood was up. They wanted to take these guys out ASAP and be done with it! But Gamaliel brought a cooler head to the discussion. Yes, putting these guys to death would solve a short-term problem, but could create many more. Gamaliel’s main point is laid out in v.38-39. If God was not leading the apostles, their work would peter out. If God was leading, they would be fighting God himself.
I can be a bit like the leaders who wanted to take out the apostles. I’m inclined to want to act now and think later. I’m much better about this as I’ve gotten older, but it’s still my instinct. This can be a great gift when quick action is what’s needed. But it can also get me in trouble.
Lord, give me patience. Just give it to me now. Amen.