Acts 4:5-12 :
It happened in the morning, that their rulers, elders, and scribes were gathered together in Jerusalem. Annas the high priest was there, with Caiaphas, John, Alexander, and as many as were relatives of the high priest. When they had stood them in the middle of them, they inquired, “By what power, or in what name, have you done this?”
Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “You rulers of the people, and elders of Israel, if we are examined today concerning a good deed done to a crippled man, by what means this man has been healed, be it known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, in him does this man stand here before you whole. He is ‘the stone which was regarded as worthless by you, the builders, which has become the head of the corner.’ There is salvation in none other, for neither is there any other name under heaven, that is given among men, by which we must be saved!”
It’s hard to believe that the man speaking in this passage is Peter, the one who denied Jesus three times to save himself. Peter’s change illustrates the effect that the presence of the Holy Spirit has on an average human being like you and I. We can still witness this in the world’s persecuted Christians today. I know that I wouldn’t be able to speak to you without Jesus because I am a weak man just like Peter. I have to be empowered by God so that I can do what I am doing.
We can see here that those in leadership haven’t changed their ways. It’s almost a repeat of what happened Jesus healed the blind man in John. Once again, they haul someone who has no fault into court and then grill them as to what power was used to do the healing. It’s actually not a bad question in that bad spirits can do miracles too. The problem is that they were unable to discern the Son of God from Satan. Peter, knowing this fact first hand, boldly applied fault to them by quoting the Bible! The leaders had taken them into custody because Peter gave all of the glory for the miracle to the resurrected Jesus and Peter gets stronger instead of giving in!
Some people say that they can’t find any place in the Bible where agitation was used as an example of good. This certainly looks like a place in which Peter agitates the Pharisees. The intent wasn’t just to agitate, but standing up for the truth is almost always certain to agitate someone. I would also like to point out that Jesus told them they were snakes and tombs which means to a Jew that they were very unclean. That sounds like agitation to me. In fact, I see a pattern in the work of the Holy Spirit that I think we can simply call “Boldness” or “Bravery.” God makes a human being able to stand up for what is true in the face of persecution. May God bless us all with the strength to do what He wants us to do no without worrying about what might happen to us.
The last thing that Peter says here is something that this generation needs to pay close attention to. “There is salvation in none other.” Only in Jesus is there any salvation. There are not many ways to God to a true Christian as Peter so clearly says here. There are not many religions or religious leaders to choose from, unless you are not interested in being saved. Peter makes it extremely clear by saying that there is no one “under heaven” or “given among men” who can save us but Jesus.