Gamaliel’s Disciple

Michael Beck

“I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day.” (Acts 22:3)

As a Pharisee, Saul of Tarsus was intent on keeping the law. His mission in life was to uphold God’s law. He was “taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers” at the feet of the most revered rabbi of his day. The Talmud states: “Since Rabban Gamaliel the Elder died, there has been no more reverence for the law, and purity and piety died out at the same time.”

But when Saul got up from the feet of Gamaliel he went forth in misguided zeal to do more harm than good. All Gamaliel taught did not serve him well.

Jesus told His disciples: “But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren.” (Matt. 23:8) After his conversion, Paul would never sit at the feet of a mere man again. He understood that men like to draw disciples after themselves. (Acts 20:30) The “perverse things” they speak lead to their followers walking in a froward way.

The true disciple of Christ is taught by His anointing. He comes to Jesus to sit at His feet and learn of Him. He does not receive the spirit of anyone other than He who is meek and lowly of heart. He walks even as his Master walks.

Beware of men’s feet. Even Gamaliel will fail you.

Michael Beck is a pastor in the Dallas, TX area and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.