“I believe him.  His report is true,” Gamaliel said, not for the first time.

“But that is not the issue at stake,” came the conciliatory reply.

Then what is at stake, if not the very existence of Isra´el as a nation?  No matter how many times he explained it to them, they refused to listen.  The Sanhedrin had other matters to discuss and wanted to get on with it.

“Can you not see that our whole way of life is at risk?”  Gamaliel said, his voice rising.  “The city will be destroyed; not one stone left upon another.  Our temple will be desecrated, the sacrifices will end – “

The shouts and questions that erupted in the small chamber startled Gamaliel half out of his chair.

“We have thrown the Romans out –”

“God has vindicated –”

“– does he think he is to doubt Adonai Elohim now?”

Ya´acov, the High Priest, raised a gnarled hand to command silence and then looked directly at Gamaliel.  “Do you mean to tell me, my old friend, that you believe Adonai Elohim will allow His Temple to be destroyed and His Holy City to be overrun by these pagans?”

Gamaliel’s silence was answer enough.

How could he say that Adonai Elohim had allowed it more than once before?  How could he doubt the protection of his God upon which the whole fabric of their lives depended?  But he did.  They could see it in his eyes.  The great Rabbi Gamaliel had lost his faith.

Gamaliel slumped in his seat as the talk turned to other matters.  He sat in a stupor, lost in the reflections and memories of a lifetime of walking with God that tumbled through his mind.

He didn’t even hear the discussions that condemned followers of Yeshua of Nazaret to imprisonment and severe beatings if they were caught teaching that heresy during the Passover a few days away.


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The Temptations of the Cross by Bert A. Amsing
Copyright © 2012 by vanKregten Publishers. All rights reserved.
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Footnotes and references included in original manuscript.