Honor in Dishonor

Acts 5:39-42
Main Verse: Acts 5:41
by Brian Phillips

Reflection
We can thank Gamaliel for the vast majority of the book of Acts.  Without him, the story might have ended with Chapter 5.

The apostles were publicly speaking about Jesus.  As a result of the attention they were getting, a religious sect called the Sadducees became jealous and had them brought before the high council of the Jews.  There, the apostles boldly spoke the truth about Jesus, rightly accusing their audience of being responsible for the death of Israel’s Savior.  “By the way,” they were quick to mention, “he’s no longer dead.”

That was all the Sadducees could stand.  In their minds, the apostles had spoken blasphemy.  And they wanted them killed.

That’s when Gamaliel steps in.  Whether it was his diplomatic spirit, his conviction or, God speaking through him, we can be certain of just one thing:  Gamaliel was used by God to deliver the apostles out of the hands of those who wanted to kill them.  He simply told the assembly “wait and see.”  If the apostles were just another bunch of kooks, they would eventually fade away.  But, if God truly sent them, nobody could stop them.  And who would want to?

Satisfied with his reasoning, the assembly took his advice.  But, not before giving the apostles a harsh beating.  Similar to the one Jesus received, right before He was crucified.

How do you think the apostles responded to the unjust treatment?  They rejoiced that they would be counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name of Jesus.

Food for Thought
“Honor has not to be won; it must only not be lost.” – Arthur Schopenhauer (1788–1860), German philosopher.

“Mine honor is my life, both grow in one; take honor from me, and my life is done.” – William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British dramatist, poet.

“My honor is my loyalty.” – Heinrich Himmler (1900–1945), German Nazi leader.

“Great men’s honor ought always to be measured by the methods they made use of in attaining it.” – François, Duc De La Rochefoucauld (1613–1680), French writer, moralist.

The apostles found honor in losing theirs for the sake of Christ.  How possessive would you be of your honor?

So What Now?
If following Jesus was extremely unpopular, and you were publicly dishonored for it, what would you do?  Remember, Jesus suffered great humiliation for us.

Prayer
Lord Jesus, thank you for the shame and humiliation you endured so that I might have eternal life.  Help me find joy when people make fun of me for what I believe.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

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