Tuesday 15 September: Acts chapter 4: 5-12.
V5-6: The next day the Jewish council gathered, the high priest and his family among them. These are the very ones who have so recently condemned Jesus to death, and pressurised Pilate into crucifying Him, remember, and the Sadducees, so bitterly opposed to all Jesus and now His apostles teach, dominate the council.
V7: They demand to know by what power, in what Name, the apostles have been acting – they constantly demanded this of Jesus, but never accepted what he said, of course. Here the question is a mere strategy – v2 has made it clear they know full well.
V8-10: Acts constantly reminds us that all the apostles do is because they are filled with the Holy Spirit. In His power, then, Peter replies uncompromisingly, the lame man has been healed and in the Name of Jesus – Jesus the Christ, i.e. the Anointed One, the promised Messiah. This Jesus, they have crucified ( i.e. they were instrumental in what was done ) but God has raised Him from the dead – the very things the Sadducees most deny are boldly asserted before them.
V11-12: So, they have rejected Jesus, God’s Anointed – and remember Jesus itself means Saviour. Peter quotes from Psalm 118:22, which speaks prophetically of how ” the builders” have rejected the stone on which the whole building depends. The word is variously translated cornerstone or capstone, but in our terms the idea is better conveyed by thinking of the foundation stone – ( see Ephesians 2: 19-21; 1 Corinthians 3:11 ) This Scripture is fulfilled in their rejection of Jesus, but He is truly the foundation on which God’s church is built. Then comes the great and absolute Gospel claim of v12. Jesus is the only way and source of salvation. God has given no other Name by which sinners can be saved – Jesus is the only Saviour. We too must never give in on this essential truth, must never compromise it – Jesus is the ONLY One who can save us and make us right with God.