After they called in the apostles and had them flogged,
they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus and
released them. Then they went out from the presence of the
Sanhedrin, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to be
dishonored on behalf of the Name.
Acts 5:40-41, HCSB
Flogging is the act of beating someone, usually on the back, with a whip or stick. Paul speaks about being flogged or whipped with forty lashes minus one. In my research, I found that forty was the maximum number of lashes allowed by biblical law (Deut. 25:3).
I’ve never been beaten. Even as a child, my parents rarely had cause to give me a spanking, so I don’t know how well I’d rejoice after getting a flogging.
It doesn’t say how many lashes the apostles received. Apparently, flogging was the main punishment for “crimes” and could be doled out in whatever number the leader chose. In any case, it would have been painful. I imagine just one would hurt like crazy. And yet, when the apostles walked away from the Sanhedrin, they rejoiced, because they’d been counted worthy of dishonor because they preached about Jesus.
Today, we (yes, me too) are too worried about being politically correct, offending someone, or whatever. We forget that Jesus told us about what would happen. And reminded us of this, If the world hates you, understand that it hated Me before it hated you. In order for the world to hate us, we have to do things that are not politically correct and are sometimes offensive. Of course, that’s not really hard these days. It seems all you have to do is hold the door for someone and they get offended.
Anyway, have we (still includes me) become so politically correct that we’ve forgotten to be SPIRITUALLY correct? Are we more afraid of man than God?
The above verses are preceded by Peter and the other apostles telling the Sanhedrin, “We must obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom you had murdered by hanging Him on a tree. God exalted this man to His right hand as ruler and Savior, to grant repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him.” (Acts 5:29-32, HCSB)
I don’t display my beliefs about certain topics on social media. I don’t want to deal with the backlash. It is what it is. However, I do live my beliefs. I hope my actions speak louder than my words. I open doors for people–man or woman, black or white and any color in between, clean or dirty, well dressed or a bit sloppy, like me. 🙂 I smile when I can. Somedays are harder than others.
I challenge you this week. Do something politically incorrect but spiritually edifying to someone around you.