Let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole (Acts 4:10).
In Acts 4:1-22, we find the account of a lame man who had been healed by Peter and John. This healing created quite a stir among the leadership (the Sanhedrin) in Jerusalem. Peter and John were arrested and jailed for this good deed. The Sanhedrin (the ruling Jewish Council) was greatly disturbed that Peter and John taught the people and preached in Jesus’ name. “And it came to pass, on the next day, that their rulers, elders, and scribes […] were gathered together at Jerusalem” (Acts 4:5,7). The Council brought the apostles out of jail to question them. They asked, “’By what power or by what name have you done this?’ Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, ‘Rulers of the people and elders of Israel: if we this day are judged for a good deed done to a helpless man, by what means he has been made well, let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole” (Acts 4:7-10).
Peter continued his message, and said, “this is the ‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’ Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:11-12). Peter was emphatic in his defense of the Gospel! He did not yield for a minute to their threats. We also must not yield when standing for righteousness. Let us resolve this within ourselves.
The Sanhedrin had one aim, one goal: to stop the progress, preaching, and effectiveness of the name, Jesus. Today, religious leaders, the media, and many “so called” intellectuals desire to discredit the name Jesus so that it is only thought of as fictitious.
The Sanhedrin said, “’what shall we do to these men? For, indeed, that a notable miracle has been done through them is evident to all […] And we cannot deny it. But so that it spreads no further among the people, let us severely threaten them, that from now on they speak to no man in this name.’ So they called them and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus” (Acts 4:16-18).
Much of what is going on in the world is an effort to stop the name of Jesus from being published or made known. Our responsibility is to never let that happen. The disciples, their wives, and children lived in jeopardy every hour. They did not count their lives dear. The most important purpose of their lives was to be faithful to the cause of Christ! I believe this is the only way in which one should live. He is worthy of our lives!