The next day their rulers, elders, and scribes assembled in Jerusalem, 6 with Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John, and Alexander, and all who were of the high-priestly family. 7 When they had made the prisoners stand in their midst, they inquired, “By what power or by what name did you do this?” 8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders, 9 if we are questioned today because of a good deed done to someone who was sick and are asked how this man has been healed, 10 let it be known to all of you, and to all the people of Israel, that this man is standing before you in good health by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead. 11 This Jesus is
‘the stone that was rejected by you, the builders;
it has become the cornerstone.’
12 There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among mortals by which we must be saved.” – Acts 4:5-12
The boldness with which Peter speaks truth to power in today’s reading from Acts is striking. He and John have just recently healed a lame man through the power of Christ and used the event as an opportunity to preach the gospel to the crowd that gathered after the miracle. Predictably, the religious elite are angered by this and have the apostles arrested and interrogated. We can be sure that the fate that Jesus met in a similar situation was fresh on their minds. However, it is very clear that the truth of the resurrection and the power of the Holy Spirit far outweigh any fear or doubt that might be weighing on their hearts and minds.
The kind of Spirit-filled proclamation of truth that Peter models for us in Acts 4 is sorely needed in our world today. So many opportunities to communicate the good news of Jesus are missed by believers who prefer to keep to less controversial conversations. So much injustice and evil goes unaddressed by Christians who choose to stay on the sidelines rather than joining God in the reconciliation that is at work all around us each day. My prayer for Bayshore and the worldwide Church today is that we would be so moved by the reality of the resurrection and so empowered by the Holy Spirit that we cannot help but acknowledge and proclaim the good news that the Kingdom of heaven is here and God has called all of us to participate in radically changing the world as we know it!