This should be a great moment, right? Jesus has healed a man, the two apostles are teaching to crowds of people. They’ve just finished explaining who Jesus was, and the offer for hope that he has given. We’re expecting another story like before, where thousands of people were saved and the church grows and good things happen to good people. Nope.
They are interrupted and arrested. More people were saved, but John and Peter ended up in jail because of it. Those who were added that day to the faith saw the men God had done such great miracles through drug out of the temple courts and imprisoned, for speaking of the Jesus they had just decided to follow.
Sometimes you’ll hear that eventually, God wants to do great things in your life. Turn on tv to the religious channel and there are listed hours upon hours of guys holding up a Bible saying when you do the right thing, God will bless you.
The apostles did exactly what was asked of them, they went about making disciples just like Jesus commanded. Thousands were being added, God was blessing them. But they were now sitting in jail. They did the right thing, followed God, and went right to jail because of it.
The Bible does tell us that all things work together for good. It does tell us that God has a plan for us. What we often neglect is the context of those promises. God never says do the right thing or good things and good things happen to you. It says to do the right thing because eventually, God will make all things right. These promises we take and misuse to mean God is going to make me rich, happy, and “#blessed” are never intended to say that.
All 12 apostles who were given the commission died. They died ugly and painful deaths. They were burned, beaten, cut off, and martyred. They did the right thing. They were blessed. But it cost them.
There is a cost to following Jesus. Doing the right thing doesn’t always render pleasant and fun results. Ultimately, when Jesus returns and we are with him, and everything is made right, we will have a beautiful existence. Until that point though, there are no promises.
It’s why Paul, the apostle, wrote “I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live. Yet, not I, but Christ lives in me. And the life I live, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” He knew, things might not go how I want in this life, but I follow Jesus. I may be persecuted. I’ll follow Jesus. I may be arrested. I’ll follow Jesus. I may suffer with a “thorn in my flesh.” I’ll follow Jesus. They may end my life for my faith. I’ll follow Jesus.
What are you willing to face for your faith? Are you willing to follow Jesus, even when there is a price?