Absurd Insanity

posted by Jeffrey on Monday, July 11, 2005 at 9:30 AM

*I've moved, and my posts have come with me! Check out my new blog at www.jeffrey-davis.net/blog/*

I'm back. We had a great conversation last night, with a few new faces to the crew. We continued our discussion of Acts 5:17-42 and discovered something kind of interesting--insanity is quite central to the Christian faith.

Here we have the first recorded beatings of the apostles--and boy were they beat. Peter and John were each publicly "flogged" and yes, this is the same flogging that Jesus received. Paul calls this punishment "forty lashes minus one" and goes on to note that he received this 5 times (2 Corinthians 11:24). The Greek word here for "flogged" could also be translated "skinned" because that is exactly what a beating with the cat-of-nine-tails does to its victims. Upon receiving this beating, the two apostles "left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name (of Jesus)." No matter how you look at it--that is madness and insanity. Who in their right mind would rejoice after being beaten within an inch of their lives? How foolish and crazy they were!

Absurd right? Maybe not. There is an emotion and a bond that is possible on this planet that turns logic and rational upside down. What is it? Love. I would gladly suffer physical torment and disgrace on the stead of my wife and would not think twice about it. But here is the pressing (and cutting) question at hand: Do I love Jesus so much as to so readily suffer for His Name?

In John 15:18-25 (among other passages), Jesus does prepare His disciples for this (and future) sufferings. With every lash, surely these words resonated nearly audibly in the minds of Peter and John and hence inspired their joy. Maybe this element of suffering is partly what the angel who freed them from prison earlier in this passage had in mind when he told them to go and tell the people "the full message of this new life." So perhaps it is not insanity that is central to the Christian faith, but a love so deep that it seems as insanity.


Blogger Rick said...

How bout God's love...He stood by whilst lessor beings beat and killed His only son. He let it happen.

Think about standing by letting someone beat, spit on, disgrace, mock and kill your wife, child, mother...letting it happen when you could stop it with little effort.

Suffering/dying for a cause yourself is one thing...but allowing one you love to suffer/die, when you could easily stop it..well..that's a perspective we have trouble with. Like sending young men and women to war, it requires we see/believe in the bigger picture and/or have faith in someone who does.


July 11, 2005 2:51 PM

Blogger Jeffrey said...

oooo, cool different perspective their Rick.

July 11, 2005 3:05 PM


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