Considered worthy to suffer?
Acts 5:41 “…and the apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name.”
The “disgrace” they endured was to be stripped and flogged. This was an embarrassing and very painful punishment and would have left them scarred for life. They would have been beaten with a whip that consisted of leather straps, each with a piece of pottery, metal or stone attached at the tip, to bring about the most pain and harm. Jesus was similarly flogged. The idea was that after seeing a person get flogged (or after receiving it) you would not want to be on the receiving end! You would think twice about the crime that had been committed. Obviously, to talk about Jesus as these men did was risky and not for those that lacked devotion.
They rejoiced that they were “counted worthy” to be humiliated as Jesus was humiliated. These young men knew their Savior…they were certain that He was the all He claimed to be….they were delighted to have been similarly receive “the marks of Jesus” upon their bodies and be identified with Him.
Is this still true? Are only those worthy of “the Name” allowed to suffer for their adherence to Him? These men were not representing a “cause” or a “belief” or even a “religion”. They proclaimed their allegiance to Him—-the “Name” above all names under which every knee would one day bow! Their were passionate about a Man that saved them and made them whole; these were not fanatics for something that they hoped was true but for someone they could not help from confessing!
What scars for life do I carry for Jesus? Would I have risked a flogging to preach about Jesus? The 21st century idea of suffering for Jesus is far removed from the honor those who walked from Him experienced.
As things are changing in our country and the world, the time might be coming when we will be able to rejoice they we have been counted worthy to suffer disgrace for the Name of Jesus—-and a world-wide revival may very well follow. Pray that each of us are worthy…..