Thursday, November 10, 2005

Suffering for Christ

Acts chapter 5 records the story of the disciples being rebuked and flogged by the Sanhedrin for repeatedly telling others the Jesus was the Messiah. A spirit of excitement and boldness inspired the apostles to preach the gospel despite the threats of the Jewish authorities. In the end they were flogged and released.

In verse 41 it says, “The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name.”

Despite the opposition, rebukes, and physical beatings, they rejoiced. They probably remembered the teachings of Jesus, which told them to expect this type of response to their message. They may have recalled Jesus’ suffering on the cross for them. Or maybe they had a picture in their minds of the holes in His hands and feet, remembering the sacrificial love of their Savior.

They rejoiced; they jumped for joy; they celebrated together. They were excited to be a part in the spreading of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world.

Do we feel the same? Do we act with confidence and boldness as we spread the good news? Do we anticipate resistance to various degrees? Do we rejoice to suffer for the sake of Jesus Christ?

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