Year B – Easter 4 – Acts 4:5-12

Text – 5 The next day their rulers, elders, and scribes assembled in Jerusalem, 6 with Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John, and Alexander, and all who were of the high-priestly family. 7 When they had made the prisoners stand in their midst, they inquired, “By what power or by what name did you do this?” 8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders, 9 if we are questioned today because of a good deed done to someone who was sick and are asked how this man has been healed, 10 let it be known to all of you, and to all the people of Israel, that this man is standing before you in good health by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead. 11 This Jesus is ‘the stone that was rejected by you, the builders; it has become the cornerstone.’ 12 There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among mortals by which we must be saved.”

Summary – The day before our passage begins, Peter and John were going to the temple to worship, they came upon a lame beggar. When the man asked for money, Peter healed him in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. This lead to a gathering of a large crowd, and Peter preached to them about how Jesus Christ, who they killed only 2 months earlier, has been raised from the dead. He also showed how their Scriptures, the Old Testament, points to this death and resurrection of Jesus. This preaching made the Jewish leaders angry and they arrested Peter and John. Our text today is about the trial of Peter and John before the Jewish leaders. These leaders cannot deny that a miracle has happened, and they ask by what power the miracle was done. Peter tells them it was in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. He reminds them that they had killed Jesus, but that he has been raised from the dead. In fact it was Jesus who gave Peter the power to heal the beggar. It is in His name and His name only that men can be saved.

Insight – The elders and scribes that put Peter and John on trial were the top religious rulers of the day. They were supposed to study Scripture, and teach the people the word of God, but they neglected to do so. As a result they failed to see the Messiah, the Son of God, promised throughout the Old Testament when He was standing in front of them and talking with them. They rejected Jesus and His teaching, and put Him to death. In verse 11 Peter tells them that “Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone.” Peter here is quoting from Psalm 118. He is telling the Jewish leaders that their rejection of Christ is prophesied in the Psalm. But since Jesus is raised from the dead He is the cornerstone. The cornerstone of an ancient building is the key foundational stone, the stone which other stones are built on top of. Jesus Christ is now the cornerstone, He is the foundation by which Peter healed the beggar, and the foundation by which we are saved. We must not try to base our salvation or our lives on any other foundation, except the foundation of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Catechism – Question: Why is Jesus called the cornerstone?
Answer : Because he is the foundation of my salvation, and there is no other way to be saved.

Discussion – Is Jesus Christ the cornerstone of your life? In what ways can we as a family make Jesus more foundational for our lives?

Prayer – God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who was the stone rejected by the builders, but is now the cornerstone of all of history. This is marvelous in our eyes. We ask that you would remove idolatry from our hearts, and we would clearly understand that there is salvation in no other way, in no other name than Jesus Christ, Your only Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. AMEN.

Contributed by Jared McNabb

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