Lent 2023 Day 17: Mon 13 Mar
Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: ‘Rulers and elders of the people! 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, 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.
Jesus is ‘“the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.”
Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.’
Peter is going places. He has a platform to speak, and his audience is the assembled company of the religious leaders, the guardians of the faith, the holy High Priest, the learned searchers of the Scriptures and the religious police. God has taken Peter the fisherman into the highest religious assembly – the Sanhedrin, now a courtroom. Not all of those present were immediately hostile to Peter, for the evidence of a man assumed disabled but who could now walk for the first time in his life was incontrovertible.
Peter goes for it. Are you summoning us here to explain an act of kindness? Do you want to know how that man was healed? Peter does not talk about what he or John had done, because anyone filled with God’s Holy Spirit could have done it.
Listen up, all of you, and all of Israel. This man was healed by the name of Jesus of Nazareth. The courtroom all knew that Jesus healed people and performed miracles. They couldn’t deny that – they just wanted to stop him because the implications of what he’d said were much too dangerous. We found a reason to have him killed. And now he’s alive again (yes, we’d all heard the rumours) and he is still healing people? Who can stop him now!?
Peter continues the dangerous talk. He quotes Jesus quoting the Psalms and turns it round to the second person – the stone you builders rejected is now the cornerstone. It’s Jesus. It’s Jesus. There is no other name. Powerful Petrine prose.
Who do you know who needs to be told that there really is no other name?
Where has God placed you?
Father God, would you place the last words of Peter’s speech above into my heart, that I might continue to explore the eternal truth they contain. Amen.