Easter 2 - Year C
See what an excellent illustration this is for not giving any quarter in an ideological battle. Gamaliel got all reasonable and the disciples were let off to build their base and cause more trouble.
Can you imagine a Gamaliel in the inner circle of the Bush/Chaney administration or the current Republican House of Representatives or Senate? Truth is, the same need for a Gamaliel is present on every side. No one is exempt from the quest for power or its overreach when achieved.
It's easy to play the part of the disciples - I've got a message and I'm going to deliver it. It is much harder to play the role of the loyal opposition. Who has the time to see how things will develop when there are points to score and scores to settle? The loyal opposition brings a troublesome, though real, presumption that we may be in the wrong and any hint toward that possibility scares the bejesus out of many. In that fear, they then can't be Jesus in their situation and choose a compassionate and rational stance.
With what group do you need to play the loyal opposition. If you are uncertain, here's a book by that name that points to one important arena, The Loyal Opposition: Struggling with the Church on Homosexuality.