No Other Name

from the Acts of the Apostles reading plan

Acts 4:1-22, 2 Corinthians 3:12-18, 1 John 5:12

BY Guest Writer

Text: Acts 4:1-22, 2 Corinthians 3:12-18, 1 John 5:12

Annas and Caiaphas were trying to do damage controland fast.

They’d conspired to kill Jesus, and as far as they could tell, the plot had been successful. Of course, a rabble of people claimed Jesus had risen from the dead, but that was preposterous—wasn’t it? All they needed was to imprison a few more people, defame a few more miracles, and then this whole charade would be over for good. Things could get back to normal.

Normal. That sounds familiar.

“I just can’t wait for things to get back to normal.”

I’m looking forward to getting back into our regular routine.”

“Once _______ (fill in the blank) happens, things will settle down again.”

I’ve said these words before. They give me a false sense of control, a sense of hope that soon all the chaos will be behind me and the storm will pass.

I’ll go to great lengths, trying to maintain a sense of normalcy. I’m desperate for it. So desperate that, the more God tries to change my circumstances, the more I gripe and moan and disobey because it hurts to lose what I’ve worked so hard to construct as mine.

Annas was the father-in-law of Caiaphas (John 18:13). As high priests, their “normal” meant power, prestige, and position. The two worked side by side to make atonement for the people of Israel (Leviticus 16:32-34). Minor celebrities in their culture, they spent their days clothed in beautiful linen garments and purifying the holiest of places within the temple. Without their atoning work of sacrifice, all of Israel would fall away from the Lord into sin and destruction.

That is, until Jesus.

If what Peter and John preached was true, then Annas and Caiaphas’ work no longer held any meaning. If Jesus had really risen from the dead, then He was the real High Priest (Hebrews 4:14-16), and life as Annas and Caiaphas knew it was over. It meant they were unemployed, power-hungry murderers, with no role to play in society. And rather than accept the fact that they were just as sinful as the people they’d been trying to atone for, they tightened their fists around their own power.

But Peter and John stood before the Lord’s murderers unfazed. Filled with boldness, eloquence, and joy, they proclaimed the Truth: there is salvation in no one else (Acts 4:12).

How’s this for a paraphrase: Hey, Annas, Caiaphas. You think you’re making a legacy for yourselves, but this is all going to come to an end. Your efforts to circumvent God are not going to work. And you are just as sinful as you’re afraid to admit.

I imagine Solomon nodding his head: in Ecclesiastes, he reminds us that everything we pursue is absolute futility (Ecclesiastes 1:1-11). And in Corinthians, we’re told that even feeding the poor, having faith, and donating all our money mean nothing unless we have Love Himself (1 Corinthians 13:1-3).

There is salvation in no one else. Not outside of your marriage. Not inside a better routine. Not with that pair of shoes. Not once you lose fifteen pounds. The storm of change has come into your life, and His name is Jesus. His rival is your sense of control over what’s “normal.

Peter and John knew that the storm was only just beginning. They could be bold and fearless because they knew, without question, that they were anchored in the only Truth that can sustain the volatile winds and waves of that storm.

Claire Gibson is a freelance writer and editor whose work has been featured both locally and nationally in publications including The Washington Post, and Entrepreneur Magazine. An Army kid who grew up at West Point, New York, Claire is currently growing roots in Nashville, Tennessee. She loves her husband, Patrick, and their dog, Winnie.

Post Comments (140)

140 thoughts on "No Other Name"

  1. Sarah Bellefeuille says:

    Wow, I just picked up this study and am reading in the midst of the COVID pandemic. Desperation for ‘normal’ is so relatable right now! Thanks for these insights; I can see myself in Annas and Caiaphas and learn from their failings, rather than just writing them off as ‘the bad guys’.

  2. Nichole says:

    Basking in what God is giving me in this season of life. The hectic, busy, and quite possibly the storm! God is so good and I’m feeling so refreshed this week after digging into God’s word and working towards what He is calling me to do. I have be so guilty in saying not now God after I get threw all of this I will have more time for what you want of me. There is no better time than this to obey what God has called of you because He has given it to you in this season for a reason!

  3. Vanessa says:

    For it breaks my heart the trials and tribulations Jesus and the saints went through over heresies and secularism. Christians ensure their own trials but not near as in comparison or what Jesus went through. To follow Jesus is to turn away from the world and take up our cross.

  4. TerriC says:

    It is my understanding that the position of high priest at this time was a Roman appointment and had little to do with blood lineage. John the Baptist was the last Aaronic descendant meant to hold the position of high priest and therefore it is all the more telling that Jesus was baptized by John. What Annas and Caiaphas were facing was their own lack in having any right at all to the position of high priest and Jesus was a right judge of that! No wonder they wanted him silenced.

  5. Shannon Seale says:

    This just brought so much peace to my heart. The weight of wanting to control everything has always been on my shoulders and I cannot seem to allow God to take control. After this week of reading and diving into God’s heart for me, however, I’m going to start to be at peace because I trust in the one you controls the uncontrollable in my life, which is everything!

  6. Gail says:

    These words spoke right to my heart. I am very guilty for waiting for things to change, my circumstances to change, more money to come in and then everything will be better. “The storm of change has come into your life, his name is Jesus!” WOW! I need to stop looking for “things to get better” and be happy and content with what I have. Jesus is all we need and all I need. I will trust him and be happy in him.

  7. Nikravesous says:

    I have never read this with Annas and Caiaphas in mind before–this interpretation makes so much sense! To think that they heard the same Spirit filled sermon as everyone else, all these men and women who turned and followed Jesus after Peter’s words, and yet were completely unmoved. But of course, they had so much to lose, from an earthly perspective. Lord, let that warning sink in for us, that we would never place our position and comfort above the truth of your Gospel and what you call us to do. Everything we have, everything that blesses us and makes us feel stable, is from you and is yours to take away as you please.

  8. Kirsten says:

    “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” 2 Corinthians 2:17. How true of a statement. However, I am not perfect, and I doubt that any of you are. How often do we turn away from the freedom in the Spirit and turn to enslavement? It can even be a thing we see as good or Godly, such as being involved at Church, or trying to me the best mom or wife possible. As of lately, I have been feeling depressed and unsatisfied with life. I remember the stabilisation that came with becoming one of God’s children. Life goes on I ruins occurs, and you feel stuck. I feel that the situations that I am trying to control, that I am just stuck. What is funny is that I know that there is freedom in handing off the control to Jesus. Time and time again, I forget; it makes me so upset. Why do I forget? I come to God asking Him for help, but my fist is tight. I am allowing the burden to engulf me in it’s chains.
    What do you think of when yo contemplate real freedom in Christ? I image the line, “I will Climb this Mountain with my Hand Wide Open,” from the song Nothing I Hold On To by William Matthew.

    1. Kirsten says:

      I mean Will Regan. I was listening to the William Matthew’s version.

      1. Candi Trusler says:

        I love that song. Thank you for the encouraging reminder of the lyrics. That’s my prayer today … “I give it all to You, God. Trusting that You’ll make something beautiful out of me” … even me. :) *hugs*

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