v 41 The apostles left the high council rejoicing that God had counted them worthy to suffer disgrace for the name of Jesus.
This whole little episode in the life of the early Church ends on a real high note. There was no complaining about the treatment they had received, in fact just the opposite! They rejoiced at the privilege of suffering for Jesus. It is worth remembering that as we pray for Christians who are being persecuted in this generation – perhaps they too are actually rejoicing at the same privilege. But it is the final verse that sums it all up. ‘And every day, in the Temple and from house to house, they continued to teach and preach this message: “Jesus is the Messiah.”’ They were not going to let a flogging put them off. They had their orders, and they stuck at it.
This is one of the significant things that hits me on reading through the book of Acts. The sheer dogged determination of the Apostles in getting on with the task of communicating the Good News is apparent throughout. There are very few quitters. Whether it is discouragement or laziness, the appeal of other activities or the pressure of family and work, all too easily we succumb to the ‘ME-Gene’ that saps the vitality of our Christian witness and prevents the growth of the Church today.