The Honor of Dishonor

The Honor of Dishonor

16 October 2010

Today’s Reading: Malachi 3-4; Psalm 148; Acts 5


The apostles went out of the High Council overjoyed because they had been given the honor of being dishonored on account of the Name. (Acts 5:41 MSG)

I caught myself doing it again this morning. I read through these verses and thought, “Yeah, they left the court room and went joyfully about their ministry of teaching and preaching. Nice.”

In fact, Peter and the apostles had been jailed overnight for preaching in Jesus’ name, let out of jail by an angel, and at daybreak they were back in the Temple teaching anyone within earshot. By 9 AM they were re-arrested and dragged before the same group of Jewish leaders that had sentenced Jesus to death a couple of months earlier. After taking their noble stand of faith and declaring, “It’s necessary to obey God rather than men!” they were given a thorough whipping.

Stop right here. Their outer clothes were stripped off, they were tied to posts, and their back were whipped by leather thongs. Thirty-nine lashes each. Then they were allowed to dress, they were warned that worse would happen if they didn’t stop preaching in the name of Jesus, and they left the High Council overjoyed that they had been given the privilege of being beaten and publicly humiliated for Jesus.

The life I live here in the USA is so far removed from what I just read. It may not always be, but it is now. I can tolerate a certain amount of inconvenience. I can accept a certain amount of “loss of face” (though I always want to be able to say, “It’s not my fault!”). Maybe, under the right (or wrong) circumstances, I could endure some genuine persecution or loss for the sake of my faith. But these guys set the bar pretty high. They were overjoyed they had been given the honor of being dishonored for Jesus.


Father, Thank you that I am privileged to live in a place where I’m free to express my faith. Help me to embrace the occasions you send my way for me to humble myself. Give me courage to do the right thing under every set of circumstances. Amen.

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