“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” (Acts 5:34).

Keeping calm saved Ellin Klor’s life. She was late to her knitting class and, with an armload of books and other materials, she tripped and fell face forward with a thud. When she sat up, Klor felt a sharp pain in her chest. So, she removed her coat, then her sweater, and then pulled back her shirt. What she saw would have sent many people into panic mode. Sticking out of her chest in the region of her heart was a broken-off wooden knitting needle.

Her friends tried to suggest it be pulled out, but she calmly refused and was immediately taken to the hospital. After preparing her for surgery, the doctors held onto the knitting needle, cut open her sternum, and discovered that the sharp object had pierced her right aorta. Most people with such trauma never make it to the hospital alive. But because Klor kept her cool, they were able to remove the needle, stitch up the hole, and, after a couple of days, send her home.

The apostles were in hot water. Since they refused to obey the religious leaders, who demanded they not preach about Jesus, they were thrown in prison. But an angel freed them and they went back to the temple to witness about Christ. After being brought back before the Sanhedrin council, Peter spoke so forthrightly that the leaders were ready to kill them all. Then God used a composed teacher on the council who sent the apostles from the room and addressed the other leaders.

Gamaliel was a respected figure in first century Judaism. Referring to two other misguided religious leaders, Gamaliel calmly convinced the council to “keep away from these men [the apostles] 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” (Acts 5:38, 39). His even-tempered wisdom saved the lives of the apostles.

Precious Jesus, may I live with calm repose today knowing I have nothing to fear when I am in Your hands.

For Further Study: Acts 5:17–42; Psalm 56:3; John 14:1, 27

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