In Acts 5, Peter and some of the apostles had been arrested for teaching about Jesus. It’s a bizarre story, where they had been arrested, and then suddenly they were outside the prison again, having resumed their teaching. The religious leaders brought them in once again, and questioned what had happened.
Of course, these councilmen were much more consumed with trying to enforce their rules, than they were with inquiring about the miracle that just happened. How they didn’t lean in to that, is beyond me.
So they instructed the apostles to cease and desist, but Peter and the gang kindly rejected their proposal saying, “We much obey God, rather than men”.
One of the pharisees, Gamaliel then talked the rest of the council out of killing the apostles for their disobedience, and agreed instead to give them a good beating and send the apostles on their way.
Finally, in verse 41, “They left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name” (my emphasis added).
Isn’t is true, fast forwarding to our life today, that this is the opposite of how we think? We associate worthiness with an absence of suffering, and we rejoice in that. When we do suffer, we seek comfort, not in the Lord himself, but in his ability to end our suffering and bring us back into “greener pastures”.
This is at least true for me. Maybe the difference is the desire of, “for the name“? Maybe these guys just wanted, to a greater degree, the name of Jesus to be rejoiced over, than I do. Maybe I’m more devoted to my name, than his name.
May I put myself aside, and place everything on the line for the name.