"What a friend - what a privilege."
Today's reading: Acts 5:40-42 (NIV)
40His speech persuaded them. They called the apostles in and had them flogged. Then they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. 41The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name. 42Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ.
Tonight I thought it might be fun to ask my husband Phil what he thought about this passage of scripture. First I summarized the previous scriptures that I had written about and then read this passage out loud to him. Then he says to me ‘well, what’s your question?” in that voice of why do you need to ask. I really didn’t have a question, I just wanted to hear from him that possibly what I was thinking about was right. Validation is what I was looking for but I wasn’t going to tell him that.
He has a way of teaching someone by asking questions, making comments and having you discover the answers yourself, this causes you to think for yourself rather than settling for his answer, because he doesn’t often give the answers, he affirms them.
Gamaliel’s way of teaching may have been similar; remember, he shared examples in order to hopefully persuade the officers into a correct decision. By flogging the apostles before releasing them, they saved face amongst the crowds that may have rioted if a killing was attempted.
As we turn to the point of view of the apostles, we read that they left rejoicing! When was the last time you got beat up in a public place in front of everyone and went away rejoicing? In today’s society, most people would express themselves irrationally in front of television news cameras and reporters about how horrible the crime was against them - putting the focus on the criminal act. Instead, the apostles focused on the privilege of suffering the same inflictions that Jesus suffered and accepted for the sins of mankind. (Read that sentence again, slowly) They knew God had spared them for a greater purpose!
What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and grief’s to bear! What a privilege to carry, everything to God in prayer. Whatever your style of teaching may be, remember it is the gospel message you are sharing, whether it be in public or private; in church’s; places of work or in a small group in your home; God has chosen you to share His message. May it be so, day after day – and that you never stop!