Another uber-cool reading from Acts of the Apostles today. Be sure to read what Gamaliel, a famous rabbi, says about this new “Jesus movement.” (My words, not the Scripture.) We also see a very interesting attitude from the Apostles today. More on that in a moment. Today in the Gospel reading, we begin reading John 6. At the beginning of John 6, Jesus feeds five thousand and the disciples gather twelve wicker baskets of leftovers.
In these early chapters of Acts, the Apostles go through a lot of humiliating stuff. They are dragged in front of the chief priests, elders and the people and scoffed at. They are arrested multiple times and thrown in jail. Today we see that they were flogged and told to stop speaking in the name of Jesus. You would think that after all this humiliation, these guys would have had enough. Or at least shouted out to God asking why these things were happening to them. But that wasn’t their attitude at all. In fact, quite the contrary!
“So they left…rejoicing that they had been found worthy to suffer dishonor for the sake of the name.” Wait a minute, did that say rejoicing?? Not only did they tolerate their humiliation, they rejoiced! What a lesson for us. We so often won’t even admit that we are Christians. We shy away from any sort of embarrassment, and, as a society, worship at the altar of political correctness. Whenever we are debased for our faith and values, we should rejoice! Thank you, God, for finding us worthy to suffer dishonor for the sake of the name!
Father, forgive us for those times when we back down from standing up for what it right and true in your eyes. We ask that you would find us worthy to suffer dishonor for the sake of the name of Jesus. Amen.