On today’s feast day, we focus on the Acts reading with a devotion from LifeLight: Acts, Part 1—Leaders Guide.
2 Peter 1:1–15
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This day of the Church Year calls attention to Peter’s declaration in Mark 8 that Jesus is the Christ. For our devotional reading, we look at another of the appointed readings for the day: Acts 4:8–13, when Peter, standing before the Sadducees and Pharisees with the apostle John, declared who Jesus is and what He has done.
Jesus had told the disciples, “When they deliver you over, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour. For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you” (Matthew 10:19–20). One wonders if Peter and John did not use this as their devotion before sleeping soundly during the night! Luke wants us to know that there is a difference this time in Peter being filled with the Holy Spirit. This is the first of a long line of fulfillments of the promise of the Lord. There could yet come a day when we may find ourselves facing a similar situation. We need to remember that that promise is as valid for us today as when Peter and John faced their accusers.
Nothing was said about disturbing the peace or an unauthorized assembly in the temple, which might have been legitimate charges. Not even what they had done was asked about. Completely blinded by their hatred of Jesus of Nazareth, whom they regarded as a rank blasphemer because He called Himself the Son of God, and livid over all this talk about resurrection, these judges challenged the way and the means by which the healing was claimed to have been done. The end certainly did not justify the means, no matter how blessed the result, especially if the power and name of that hated “blasphemer” were involved.
The Holy Spirit’s answer through Peter is clear and straight to the point and contains one of the great Gospel statements of the Scripture. Boldly implying that there was no reason for this meeting, Peter nevertheless answered their questions: Verse 10—It is “by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead.” Note the clashing opposites: whom you crucified, whom God raised! As undeniable and living proof of this truth, Peter pointed to the healed man who was now standing with them.
Verse 11—Before the Sadducees and Pharisees could open their mouths to respond, Peter nailed this great truth home with a quotation from their own beloved and revered David (Psalm 118:22). Verse 12—Then comes that great statement—remember who the author is!—that puts steel in our spine, boldness in our preaching, and confidence in our witnessing: “no one else”; “no other name.” Jesus comes to us by means of His name (Word). That name creates faith. And by our faith in His name, He saves us. There is no second, no substitute, no alternative faith in that name alone, which is “given among men,” for all people, for all time. Again, beyond any shadow of a doubt, we are included!
Devotional reading is adapted from LifeLight: Acts, Part 1—Leaders Guide, pages 20–21 © 1993, 2004 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.
Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
O Father . . . help the Church in every place announce boldly the changeless Gospel of Christ, who redeemed the lost. Fill her with excitement and adventure so that, like her crucified Lord, she may lose herself in the service of humankind. Amen.
Prayer is from Time to Pray: Daily Prayers for Youth, page 95 © 2011 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.