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Mark of honour not cause for sorrow

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Mark of honour not cause for sorrow

And when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name – 5:40-41.

This type of beating was punitive. It was meant to inflict bodily injury. It was a beating that our generation knows nothing about. Your clothes were removed and you were beaten until blood flowed all over your body. The film “the passion of the Christ”, gave us a good picture of what it means to be beaten as a judicial punishment in those days.

After this type of beating the apostles rejoiced on their way home. They rejoiced for the privilege of receiving in their body the “marks of Christ”. They rejoiced for opportunity of suffering shame for his name. Typically when an apostle comes under scrutiny as to the authenticity of his apostleship, all he does was to lift up his garment to show you his scars! It is called the “the marks of Christ”. It is the scars from the scandals of the Gospel- of preaching the full gospel.

You can call it the wounds of war! When Paul told the Galatians, from henceforth let no one trouble me, for I bear in my body the marks of Christ, he was telling them in essence: I have paid my dues in the gospel. You ought to have stopped criticizing, questioning and suspecting me like the world and the Jews do! “If they misunderstand your master, they will certainly misunderstand you!” Another reason why a servant of God would he misunderstood is because his master was.

Yes, Jesus was misunderstood His words were misunderstood, His lifestyle were misunderstood, His ministry style were misunderstood. If Jesus could not escape being misinterpreted, how in the world could those who follow Him escape? A servant cannot be above his master.

When the Lord spoke to Him from Heaven, those standing by misunderstood this and said “it thundered” (John 12:28-29) when He cried on the cross to the Lord, those standing by misinterpreted Him, accusing him of praying to a dead prophet for rescue.

They said He called on Elias (Matt.27:46-47) when he said “destroy this temple I and will raise it in three days!! The people misquoted him and accused him of calling for the destruction of then ancient worship center. When he told his listener that they must eat flesh and drink His blood if they must live, many were offended and stopped following him. The unbelievable side of these stories is that he never denied or tried to defend himself from any of them. He never saw it as anything ‘out of order! He never apologized nor ever withdrew His words! These are enough signs that Jesus believed that offenses and misunderstanding are natural part of preaching the gospel. It is part of what he meant when He told His followers to deny themselves and carry each his cross and follow Him.

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