“On their release, Peter and John went back to their own people and reported all that the chief priests and the elders had said to them. 24 When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God. “Sovereign Lord,” they said, “you made the heavens and the earth and the sea, and everything in them. 25 You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David: “‘Why do the nations rage
and the peoples plot in vain?
26 The kings of the earth rise up
and the rulers band together
against the Lord
and against his anointed one.[b]’[c] 27 Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. 28 They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen. 29 Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. 30 Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” Acts 4.23-30
Its hard to believe but some people who call themselves Christians want nothing to do with Jesus. They say they love God and love the church but Jesus, they want nothing to do with. At at recent church meeting in which disaffiliation was being discussed from one denomination to the next, a lay person said, ”Most of our people love God but want nothing to do with Jesus.” This makes no sense to me. It’s like saying I love breathing air but hate oxygen!
I bring this up because the early disciples, the first Christians, preached and teached in the name of Jesus. When they prayed to the Lord to give them strength and help them in the midst of persecution, they did so through the name of the ”holy servant Jesus.” Separating God from Jesus is not only heresy, it’s an impossibility since Jesus and the Father are one, the same person, two members of the three person Trinity (See John 10.30 and https://www.gotquestions.org/I-and-the-Father-are-one.html).
The entire motivation for preaching the Gospel is bringing the people to God through Jesus. Without Jesus, we can not get to God. Without Jesus, we do not have salvation, forgiveness of sins, death defeated, intimacy with the Divine, or victory over the devil. Without Jesus we have no cross, no redemption story in which to repeat, receive and retell.
When the disciples were released, they returned to “their own people” and told them everything the ”chief priests and elders had said to them.” Then they gathered together, praying to God, remembering their father David, acknowledging the power of the Holy Spirit and prayed to perform more miracles ”through the name of Jesus.”
Without Jesus we are worse off than the pagan nations surrounding the ancient Israelites who failed to acknowledge God. Without Jesus we are lost and alone. But with him we have hope for today and hope for tomorrow. Lean into the Name which is above all name. Call upon the name of the Lord Jesus, the Risen Christ, through whom we have access to the Heavens both now and for eternity.
“O Lord God, it grieves me that those who claim your name would reject your face. Those who would claim a part of the promise but reject the cornerstone. How then shall we live if not by your grace Lord Jesus? Come now, Holy Christ, find us willing and able to give you glory. Help me know the power of your love and the truth of your Word. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen