The world is no friend of God’s church. Today we meet a theme in Acts which will repeat itself throughout the book—opposition.
The concern of the Jewish authorities is seen in verse 2, the “proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead”. Luke is quick to remind us that, in spite of opposition, the gospel continues on its all-conquering way (v. 4). The same people who called for the crucifixion of Jesus now question Peter and John as to how they performed this miracle (vv. 5–7).
Peter is both clear and courageous in his answer. It is Jesus who is responsible for the miracle. “Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead” (v. 10), and this was to fulfil Psalm 118:22 that the one rejected would ultimately triumph (v. 11).
Here again is the familiar pattern of evangelism to the Jewish audience:
- The contrast of what you did and what God did.
- The death and resurrection of Jesus.
- The fulfilment of the Scriptures.
Acts 4:12 is a timely reminder to us of the uniqueness of Christ. There is no other who can save—“no one else . . . no other name”. Such a verse makes it clear that Christ is the only way to God. The basis of such a claim is that He is the one who died, was raised, and was exalted to God’s right hand. Further proof as to the reality of the claim is the crippled beggar standing healed before them. The ascended Christ is still active.
When John the Baptist doubted whether Jesus was the Christ, he asked the right question: “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?” (Matthew 11:3). If Jesus is not the way, or not the sole way, who else has done what He did? Should we still be looking for another? The answer of the gospel is, “no one else . . . no other name”.
Peter and John are accused, they are being interrogated, but they are not passive victims. They are on the front foot; they are on the attack with the gospel.
Memorise Acts 4:12 and think about its implications for you, your friends, the world, and evangelism.
How should you respond in the face of opposition to the gospel?