Thursday, January 29, 2015


In Acts 5, Jesus has ascended back to heaven & the Holy Spirit has come to fill the Apostles.

The apostles are teaching about Jesus in the Temple. There's lots of signs & wonder accompanying their teaching - Acts 5 mentions healing the sick & casting out demons. It's interesting that miraculous healing & casting out of demons are usually mentions as the signs & wonders.
If this was a normal thing, I wonder why we don't see more of that kind of thing happening at gatherings of Christ followers these days? But that's a discussion for later.

The high priest of the temple had them arrested. During the night, an angel came & spring the apostles from jail. Yeah, that's what it says!
When the high priest sent for them, the temple guards found everything locked up & guarded, but the apostles weren't there. Oops!
They told the high priest the apostles were gone, but as they were telling this, people came& said the apostles were back in the temple again. Oops, again!

The apostles were arrested again & brought before the high priest & the Sanhedrin, the ruling temple group. They told the apostles to stop talking about Jesus. The apostles basically said we're going to obey God, not you.

When the Sanhedrin decided to have them killed, Gamaliel gave his speech telling the Sanhedrin to be careful what they did, bc they could be fighting against something & someone that was just might be of God.

Here's where we pick up the narrative...

 Acts 5

40b They called in the apostles and had them flogged.

Then they ordered them never again to speak in the name of Jesus, and they let them go.

41 The apostles left the high council rejoicing that God had counted them worthy to suffer disgrace for the name of Jesus.

42 And every day, in the Temple and from house to house, they continued to teach and preach this message: "Jesus is the Messiah."

Now, before we think being flogged back then was kind of an adult form of spanking, here's what has to say...

"Flogging was a form of Roman torture using a flogging whip, which was made up of leather thongs tied to iron balls and bits of bone. This was used to repeatedly strike the victim's back with full force. The iron balls would cause deep bruises, and the leather thongs and sheep bones would cut into the skin and tissue, and even down to the muscle."

Hardly an adult form of spanking...

I said all that to say this...

We hear a lot these days about Christianity being under attack, how our rights are being violated, & other such stuff.

That is the norm for Christ followers.

Being a Christ follower doesn't mean having this kind of Club Med experience all through our lives.

It doesn't mean we will experience the American Dream to its fullest.

It certainly doesn't mean our lives will be without controversy.

Who we are, & what we're about, will always be in conflict with the world in which we live bc we are in many ways the very exact opposite of the world.

I kinda chuckled when I thought about the flogging thing.

I wonder how many of us would be Christ followers if we knew we could get beaten up like that by the people who govern us.

I wonder what our response would be if we got flogged?

We'd prolly be screaming about our rights, how persecuted we are, & how we're not gonna stand for it!


Violent response who who & what we are as Christ followers has been the norm down through the centuries.

Why should it be any different today?

Just a thought...

No comments: