“Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Rulers and elders of the people! 9 If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a man who was lame and are being asked how he was healed, 10 then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. 11 Jesus is “‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’[a] 12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” Acts 4.8-12
“There is no other name under heaven by which people must be saved.” Peters words are very clear. It’s not something that is up for debate. The fact that he states this so clearly, and that Jesus is the center of his focus, should tell us the stone the builders rejected, according to Psalm 118.22, is Jesus. He was rejected by the Jews, crucified upon a cross, died, was buried, three days later he rose from the dead and now is performing miracles through his disciples by the power of his promised Holy Spirit.
I feel like the religious leaders are acting like deer in the headlights.
“Didn’t we kill this guy once already” I can hear them saying.
“How are we going to stop this movement if rejecting and removing their leader didn’t do it?”
And, ”Are these miracles really from the Lord or from people? Could this Jesus have been the Messiah?”
Sadly, Jesus is still rejected today among religious groups. I can name a dozen seminaries, churches and denominations who built their name and reputation upon Jesus, but who now have rejected him. Churches who suggest other ways to God besides Jesus continue to exist. But couldn’t it be more clear from the words of Peter, ”Salvation is found in no one else,”?
Peter and John, so much like us, are in the convincing ministry. We are called to convince the world that Jesus is the Christ. Or, least we can do our best! Taking the Great Commission to the least, last and lost means we offer the love of God, the forgiveness of sins, and the hope of eternal life through the cross of Christ. Any church or people who present anything other than this is heretical and non-Christian.
Let’s join Peter and John in helping fulfill the mission of Christ by taking the hope of Jesus to the world. So the world might know the love of God by the power of the Holy Spirit.
“O Lord God, you are good. I praise you for this day. For this truck in which I sit and drink coffee and read your Word. For the mission of the Church, which continues through me and so many others in this generation. For ministries that are open to a faithful orthodox reading of your Scriptures. I pray for faithfulness for all of God’s people and for an awakening of his Spirit in my heart and my family. Come now, Holy Spirit, fall afresh upon me. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen