Today we see a great story about what a great difference a short time can make. It wasn’t long ago that Jesus stood before this court. He was tried, convicted and crucified. His apostles fled in terror.
Now, a short time later, his Apostles stand before the same court but they are no longer afraid. Instead, they stand there defiant. The Sanhedrin commands them to stop preaching the name of Jesus. The Apostles all but laugh. It’s clear that whatever authority this counsel had, it is gone.
One can sense that the Sanhedrin realize that they can do little to stop the Aposltes. They lash out at them and have them flogged. The reaction of the Apostles to the beating is interesting:
Then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name.
The Apostles were happy in their suffering! They were glad to be beaten and whipped in the defense of Jesus. This is a theme that we will see as we continue forward, especially in the letters of Paul. In Christianity, suffering is transformed. It has meaning and is redemptive when born for the sake of the Lord.