Acts 5:41

ESV Then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name.
NIV The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name.
NASB So they went on their way from the presence of the Council, rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for His name.
CSB Then they went out from the presence of the Sanhedrin, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to be treated shamefully on behalf of the Name.
NLT The apostles left the high council rejoicing that God had counted them worthy to suffer disgrace for the name of Jesus.
KJV And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.

What does Acts 5:41 mean?

The Sanhedrin has beaten the apostles for teaching that Jesus rose from the dead, that He is the Messiah, and that He sits at God's right hand (Acts 5:30–31, 40). This backlash from unbelievers is what Jesus promised, starting with His Sermon on the Mount: "Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you" (Matthew 5:11–12).

Later, Jesus will be even more specific, saying, "Beware of men, for they will deliver you over to courts and flog you in their synagogues" (Matthew 10:17).

It's possible that a young man named Saul is present at this trial. Later, after he converts and changes his name to the Greek version, Paul, he will tell the Colossians, "Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church" (Colossians 1:24). This isn't to say that anyone, even the apostles or Paul, needed to be beaten in order to be saved, or to save someone else. But the circumstances of their beatings served to spread the gospel farther. More directly, Stephen's death (Acts 7:54–60) and Saul's persecution of the church (Acts 8:1–3) scattered the Christians out of Jerusalem and into Judea and Samaria, as Jesus promised (Acts 1:8).

For the present, the apostles are just grateful. Throughout Jesus' ministry, they responded with obliviousness (Mark 8:14–21), faithlessness (Mark 9:17–19), self-centeredness (Mark 9:33–37), and fear (Mark 14:50). With the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1–4), they are free to boldly reach others with Jesus' message of reconciliation to God. If the God-defying Sanhedrin beats them for their faith, they must be doing something right.
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