Twelve backs were torn open by the lashing whip.
Thirty-seven. Thirty-eight. Thirty-nine strokes.
Some time had passed since Jesus’ ascension. The apostles had been arrested. They’d spent a night in jail, experienced an angelic rescue, and then appeared before the Jewish Council.
And now, a flogging.
You can find the story in Acts 5. Even more amazing than the story itself, angels and all, is the apostles’ response.
“The apostles left the Sanhedrin rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name.” (Acts 5:41 NIV)
My dictionary tells me disgrace is causing someone to lose or become unworthy of respect or approval. Normally a public arrest and flogging would have that effect.
Unless you were doing something right.
Note the response of the apostles.
Why? Because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name.
They valued this kind of disgrace because they played to a different audience than the crowds of Jerusalem and the Jewish Council—and their audience of One was pleased with their obedience.
Silly me! I get bent out of shape when God tells me to ask the bank teller if I can pray for her. I question if it was God’s voice. But really, I’m scared.
I’m scared of how they will respond—to me.
Scared of shame. Afraid of disgrace.
Hebrews 12:2 says, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him, endured the cross, scorning its shame…”
The next two verses must have been written for me, “Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.”
I don’t face arrest or flogging for proclaiming the name of Jesus. The worst I face is ridicule and rejection. Possibly a label. Jesus freak. Bigot. Hater.
God’s labels are different. Obedient. Compassionate. Loving.
God, change my perspective to see such disgrace as a worthy thing. Give me the courage to go there.
Do you share Jesus regularly? How?
What response do you get?
How likely are you to share?
What encourages you to share?
What hinders you?
I’m scared of how they will respond—to me. Click to tweet.
The worst I face is ridicule and rejection. Possibly a label. Jesus freak. Bigot. Hater. Click to tweet.
God’s labels are different. Obedient. Compassionate. Loving. Click to tweet.