“On the next day, their rulers and elders and scribes were gathered together in Jerusalem; and Annas the high priest was there, and Caiaphas and John and Alexander, and all who were of high-priestly descent.”
They came determined to stop to the upheaval the disciples of Jesus were creating.
This was no insignificant gathering. This event brought together the elders, the rulers, the scribes, the high priest, Caiaphas, John and Alexander, it seems that all the religious and secular powers of the day were there.
This was to be a power encounter.
They demand; “By what power, or in what name, have you done this?”
Jesus had warned them that this would happen.
“When you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities, do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.”
Peter, assured by Jesus’ words, addresses the government, the religious establishment and the court of the people, with boldness.
“Rulers and elders of the people…”
This is no minor encounter. Peter does not mince his words.
“…by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised front the dead…,”
The name he recently denied is now the name on which he stands.
In the face of death, he does not waver, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved”
We too must be comforted and empowered by the knowledge that, “Salvation is found in no one else but Jesus Christ of Nazareth.”
We too must be confronted with the question; “By what power or by what name have you done this?”
Just as Peter’s actions challenged a complacent society, so we too must challenge the accepted patterns of the world we live in.
“In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth…”
This is the only name that raises the lame, heals the sick, cleanses the unclean, wakes the death and stirs the ire of those who deny him.