Faith Perseveres in Persecution

Flagellation-of-christ-_RubensThe hope of the resurrection links Heb. 11:35 with vv. 36-37. By faith they expected to rise again from the dead. Hence, they are willing to suffer persecution in the present life. This is the last attitude of faith in Heb. 11. Faith perseveres in persecution to the point of death.

How did these believers suffer? They suffered two kinds of abuse. First, these believers suffered physical and emotional abuse. “Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment” (Heb. 11:36). The word “mocking” (empaignos) is used in the context of torture, flogging, chains, and imprisonment (vv. 35-36). Thus, the word means “derisive torture.” (Gingrich). It means suffering torture while being ridiculed. Jesus suffered this kind of torture. They put a crown of thorns on His head. They slapped Him and spit on Him while mocking Him. By faith, these believers experienced mocking for their faith in Christ.

Have people mocked you for your faith in Christ? If you stand up for Jesus, expect people to mock you.

The word “flogging” is from mastix which means “to beat severely with a whip.” (Louw-Nida) These believers were whipped severely for trusting Christ.

One day Paul cast out the demon from a slave girl. After the girl was healed, she could no longer do fortune-telling. Her owners can no longer make money out of her fortune-telling. So they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them in the streets. They beat them with rods. They threw them in prison. Then they chained their feet with iron chains (Acts 16:19-24).

People of faith suffered floggings, chains, and imprisonment.

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