It’s the next day. Peter and John have spent the night in custody and now all of the Jewish leaders have gathered. I’m guessing that would be the whole Sanhedrin – both the Sadducees and Pharisees. You can tell from the list of high priest family members this was kind of a family business. These were the same guys who came together to get rid of Jesus in the first place. (Remember it was Caiaphas who thought it would be good for one man to die to rescue the many? Wonder how they are feeling about his suggestion now that killing Jesus has not seemed to stop the talk.)
They bring in the prisoners to interrogate them. (I have to say I find it irritating they could arrest them in the first place! I mean wasn’t the Temple a place of discourse? Maybe I am just an idealist American.)
By what power or what name did you do this? Is this just the legal question they need to ask? Or are they genuinely interested because they saw the results? (I just can’t decide on the tone of their voice. One can always hope for the best.)
Peter answers (as led by the Holy Spirit) which proves to me the Holy Spirit leads with a sense of humor.
“Rulers of the people and elders, if we are being examined today concerning a good deed done to a crippled man, by what means this man has been healed …” Peter is not irritated – (as I mentioned would be the case with me if wrongly imprisoned). He does not open with a defense. Instead, and I love this…he opens with the friendly expectation that they must have been given the free overnight hotel stay in order to be there to answer for this good deed they have been involved with!
That may have softened things up for the next bit… let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by him this man is standing before you well. First we know the Sadducees in the bunch didn’t like the “raised from the dead” part but I feel certain none of them were too keen on hearing the “whom you crucified”. But Peter doesn’t wait for a response. He’s on a roll…
He calls them the “builders” who have rejected the stone (Jesus) that has turned out to be the cornerstone or foundation of the faith they are supposed to be representing. And then the zinger – in no uncertain terms: there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” I mean really – you cannot explain this pronouncement away. Not then and not today. Simply put there are not Heinz 57 ways to find favor with the God of the universe – there’s only One way. (I understand this may be hard to hear and maybe it doesn’t seem fair or some just want to argue. I guess we humans think the more we know the more God should take all our ideas into account but He’s God and we are not.)
The Jews saw Peter and John as “bold” – as in – having the courage and daring to push the limits of conventional thought (dictionary.com). This was astonishing because they perceived them to be uneducated, common men. (Can we hear it for education discrimination?) So the only thing they could link this fearless boldness to was “they had been with Jesus.”
Later Paul summed up the idea pretty well “we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. (2 Cor. 4:7)
God is the power source for salvation.
Cracked pots let the Light shine through. Be a crackpot!
About the World?
You get your true PhD by spending time with Jesus.