No Other Name
Open Your Bible
Acts 4:1-22, 2 Corinthians 3:12-18, 1 John 5:12
BY Patti Sauls
Have you ever had a déjà vu experience? In the midst of an ordinary day, you’re suddenly pulled out of the present moment by a strange feeling that you’ve been in this place or situation before. It’s almost as if you can predict what will happen next. And then, as quickly as the sensation began, it’s gone.
I wonder if Peter and John had an intense déjà vu experience as they stood in front of the Jewish authorities in Jerusalem. As we read in Acts 3 and 4, they were arrested after miraculously healing a lame man and continuing to preach on temple grounds about Jesus and His resurrection.
According to council procedure, the rulers, elders, scribes, and members of the high-priestly family sat in a semi-circle around Peter and John (Acts 4:5–7). This crowd would be intentionally intimidating to anyone, but especially terrifying to these two men. For Peter and John this was no vague déjà vu; this was a repeat of the reality of Jesus’s arrest that had ended in violence, agony, and death.
Jesus Himself had been arrested and brought before this council of elders, scribes, and chief priests (Luke 22:66). At that time, Peter watched from a distance and cowered in fear as Jesus faced the same Jewish leaders that he was facing now. This was not a mild questioning for Peter and John; this was a death threat.
But Peter had changed. Where once he had lied that he didn’t even know Jesus, now he insisted that the lame man was healed by the power of the risen Jesus, and that “there is no other name under heaven given to people by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). Where once there was cowardice, now there was courage. “Since, then, we have such a hope, we act with great boldness” (2Corinthians 3:12). He was risking his life, determined to speak the truth that Jesus was the risen, ruling Lord of all. Oh, Peter —you’ve come so far!
What enabled this fisherman to boldly defy the same authorities who had recently condemned Jesus to a gruesome crucifixion? HOPE. Peter had seen the risen Jesus; he spoke with Jesus and ate with Him. Peter received forgiveness and was given the presence and power of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:4). He knew that Jesus would be with him always (Matthew 28:20). This was not a maybe hope; it was a certain hope.
Peter and John are not alone in being empowered by this hope. As believers in Jesus, we see and hear Him in the Bible that reveals Him. We dine with Jesus as we take the bread and wine of the Lord’s Supper and remember that He is our only hope for salvation. We, too, receive forgiveness and are filled with the Holy Spirit who unites us with Him forever.
Yes, we are changed, too. Let’s claim the hope we have in the name of Jesus.