#DailyDevotion Let Us Ever Walk With Jesus
Acts 535“Men of Israel,” he said to them, “consider carefully what you’re going to do with these men. 36Sometime ago Theudas appeared, claiming to be somebody, and about four hundred men joined him. He was killed, and all who followed him were scattered, and they disappeared… “And now I tell you, keep away from these men and let them alone. If it’s only men planning or doing this, it will break down, 39but if it’s God, you won’t be able to stop them. You may even be fighting against God.” 40They took his advice. They called the apostles, beat them, ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. 41The apostles left the court, happy to have been thought worthy to suffer shame for Jesus. 42And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they kept right on teaching and telling the good news that Jesus is the Christ.
After Peter and John’s response to the Sanhedrin, the Sandedrin wanted to kill them. However, Gamaliel, Paul’s former teacher, intervened with this speech. He recounts how other false messiahs have come and gone. They and their followers were always dispatched by whoever was ruling at the time. The same thing will happen to them if Jesus is truly a false messiah. Gamaliel does warn them though if this is truly from God they will not be able to stop them. Not only that, but they may be fighting against God. The Sanhedrin agreed and had the apostles beaten and ordered to no longer speak in Jesus’ name.
Well it’s been 2000 years and we are still going strong. The LORD’s Church, the Israel of God is still going strong. The unbelieving Jews of the Sanhedrin while continuing to exist under the mercy of God, the Spirit still witnessing through the Church calling them to repentance and faith apparently has not caught on en masse and has not followed up with Gamaliel. But the fullness of the Gentiles, drawing them into being Abraham’s children has not happened yet either.
The Apostles left the court happy to be found worthy to suffer shame for Jesus. Today many of Jesus disciples continue to be found worthy of the shame of Christ Jesus to suffer for his name. St. Paul writes in 2 Cor. 15“As Christ’s sufferings overflow to us, so Christ makes our comfort overflow.” They were comforted with the comfort of Christ and they shared that comfort with others when suffering for Christ reached their doorstep as well. As followers of Jesus we should not be surprised with suffering for the name of Christ comes to our door. Jesus has said a disciple is not above the teacher. We must bear our cross the Father lays upon us. Do not fear it. Jesus will never leave or forsake us no matter what happens to us.
The apostles kept on teaching and telling the good news that Jesus is the Christ. Jesus is the long awaited Messiah. We need not look to anyone else. No one else in heaven above or earth below can save us from the wrath of God. Jesus, other than his return on the clouds, has fulfilled the prophecies of the Old Covenant concerning the Messiah. He is the Son of Man who will return on the clouds with his heavenly army to wipe out all who have rejected him and judge them worthy of eternal death. He will raise all those who trusted in him, even in his name to eternal life and put them in his everlasting kingdom which will be eternal joy. What we suffer for Christ’s sake will turn to mirth hereafter.
Gracious God and Father, you had your Son Jesus Christ suffer and die for our sins. Help us to be faithful to suffer with Christ on the day that happens that we may enter into his joy when you call us home to yourself. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.