Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Those Crazy Apostles

Here we go again with the wild attitudes of the first Christ followers. In Acts 5, after the court time in Acts 4, the Apostles are again found preaching in the Temple. This time the whole bunch of them is dragged before the court and commanded to not preach in the name of Jesus (they were accused of spreading this Jesus thing throughout the whole city). The Sanhedrin listens to one of its leaders, a man named Gamaliel, who suggests that if what the Apostles are doing is from human effort then it will dry up and blow away but IF it is from God then opposing them would have the court opposing God (not a good plan).

The Court listens to this bit of wisdom and releases the Apostles AFTER having them properly flogged and warning them once again to not preach in the name of Jesus. After their proper beating the Apostles "left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name (Acts 5:41)."

It is too common in my own life under persecution -- if someone looks at me funny for preaching, or if someone criticizes me for trying to live faithfully for Jesus, or if there is opposition to some project I am in the middle of -- is to withdraw and lick my wounds. I dare say what I have to endure does not qualify as perecution. I am not sure I would have the crazy assurance and confidence of our first leaders. The attitude of these people was, Jesus was crucified for us it may not be such a bad idea to suffer embarrassment and abuse for his name.

My prayer today has been: Lord give me boldness to live fully for you like they did.


No comments: