No Other Name
While Peter and John were preaching to the people in the temple, the priests and Sadducees came upon them, “greatly annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead.” You will remember that the Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection, so naturally they would be annoyed (Luke 20:27). But to proclaim such a thing “in Jesus” only added to their consternation. Thus were the apostles arrested and held for the next day. Even so, the Church of Jesus Christ continued to grow.
So upon the morrow they gathered together to interrogate the apostles. Looking at the once crippled man now standing beside Peter and John, they asked them, “By what power or by what name did you do this?” Well, that’s all the prodding Peter needed. The Scripture tells us that before Peter began speaking he was “filled with the Holy Spirit.” Jesus had warned his disciples of such days as Peter and John were then experiencing and had commanded them to prepare nothing ahead of time since the Holy Spirit would give them utterance as needful for the occasion (Luke 12:11-12). Such was the case now as the Holy Spirit gave Peter the precise words to say. Please note the respect Peter paid the council (“Rulers of the people and elders”) but also the boldness and honesty, showing us that civility and proclaiming the truth are not mutually exclusive endeavors. Peter is bold to say that the man was healed “by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth,” that these leaders interrogating them crucified him, and that God raised him from the dead.
The next thing that Peter says shows how the Holy Spirit continued to lead the apostles into the deeper meaning of the Scriptures. Peter uses the passage from Psalm 118:22, referred to by Jesus in his “parable of the wicked tenants,” to show how the stone that was rejected by the builders is Jesus himself – the cornerstone. And upon this stone, his holy name, must salvation be experienced; indeed, there is no other name whereby one must be saved, no other way, no other means. And this is the exclusive, and by today’s standards, intolerant claim of the Bible and the Church. Those who think that any and everyone should be saved regardless of creed, faith, or profession have never understood the depth of their own sin. The gospel of Jesus Christ is predicated upon the fact that because of the heinousness of man’s sin, drastic measures had to take place to remedy it – which is where the cross comes in. To speak of another name or way of salvation is to slight our Lord’s sacrifice and to speak of another god. There is no other name.