“His speech persuaded them. They called the apostles in and had them flogged. Then they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. The apostles left the Sanhedrin rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name. Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ.” Acts 5:40-42, NIV
There are times when the normal course of life must be disrupted; a more noble truth proclaimed. Human nature is wired for knowledge and systems that benefit us at our level of personal need. When a truth arises that robs us of the security we feel, we are prone to be threatened. When people are challenged on the premises they live by, however untruthful and harmful, they will attack others who speak a truth that could liberate their minds and spirits. Peter and the apostles became the objects of assaults and reprisals, because they decided to teach people the truth of the Good News, Jesus proclaimed. The imperative of the Gospel was to “set people free” from the bondage of sin, injustice, and divisiveness. The leaders of the people became angry with the apostles’ public proclamation of the Gospel, which contained the teachings of Jesus. People initially feared reprisal if they followed the apostles; but the power of the Gospel message transformed their lives, and crowds followed them. Jesus had said, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free (John 8:32).” Peter and the apostles were arrested, prosecuted, and thrown in prison. Upon their release they were severely beaten and warned to stop. Amazingly, they left their flogging, praising God and more determined to create more trouble! The persecution induced a greater purpose and call to action. Proclaiming the “truth” isn’t easy, but worth the trouble!