17But the high priest rose up, and all who were with him (that is, the party of the Sadducees), and filled with jealousy
18they arrested the apostles and put them in the public prison.
19But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and brought them out, and said,
20“Go and stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this Life.”
21And when they heard this, they entered the temple at daybreak and began to teach. Now when the high priest came, and those who were with him, they called together the council, all the senate of the people of Israel, and sent to the prison to have them brought.
22But when the officers came, they did not find them in the prison, so they returned and reported,
23“We found the prison securely locked and the guards standing at the doors, but when we opened them we found no one inside.”
24Now when the captain of the temple and the chief priests heard these words, they were greatly perplexed about them, wondering what this would come to.
25And someone came and told them, “Look! The men whom you put in prison are standing in the temple and teaching the people.”
26Then the captain with the officers went and brought them, but not by force, for they were afraid of being stoned by the people.
27And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest questioned them,
28saying, “We strictly charged you not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and you intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.”
29But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.
30The God of our fathers raised Jesus, whom you killed by hanging him on a tree.
31God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.
32And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.”
33When they heard this, they were enraged and wanted to kill them.
34But a Pharisee in the council named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law held in honor by all the people, stood up and gave orders to put the men outside for a little while.
35And he said to them, “Men of Israel, take care what you are about to do with these men.
36For before these days Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody, and a number of men, about four hundred, joined him. He was killed, and all who followed him were dispersed and came to nothing.
37After him Judas the Galilean rose up in the days of the census and drew away some of the people after him. He too perished, and all who followed him were scattered.
38So in the present case I tell you, keep away from these men and let them alone, for if this plan or this undertaking is of man, it will fail;
39but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You might even be found opposing God!” So they took his advice,
40and when they had called in the apostles, they beat them and charged them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.
41Then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name.
42And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they did not cease teaching and preaching that the Christ is Jesus.
Chillax. This is one of the new words that have been added to the English language during the last couple of years. This particular word comes from urban slang and has worked itself into mainstream vernacular. Chillax actually appears in both the Merriam-Webster and Oxford Dictionaries. It’s a combination of “chill-out” and “relax”. And as I was reading the passage from Acts for today, my mind heard Gamaliel say, “Chillax, guys.” (Yes, Bible reading can be an interesting experience inside of my mind.)
I love this wait and see attitude that is advised by Gamaliel. There is so much wisdom in the idea of letting something just work itself out rather than jumping into the fray and making something happen. When tempted to “fix” a situation we can so often just make things worse or at the very least complicate the process of resolution. Honestly, I think that I can sometimes hear God saying, “chillax” to me as well. Now this word has a rather flippant tone to it and I don’t think of God as flippant. But I do think that He would have me chill-out and relax instead of getting all worked up over something that belongs to Him to fix. I also believe God spoke into the ear of Gamaliel on this occasion as he speaks the truth of the situation. His counsel allows the Apostles to continue their vital work of spreading the Gospel. So maybe if I calm down a little and let God do His work I can be a more effective tool for Him as well.