New Living Translation
They brought in the two disciples and demanded, “By what power, or in whose name, have you done this?” Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers and elders of our people, are we being questioned today because we’ve done a good deed for a crippled man? Do you want to know how he was healed? Let me clearly state to all of you and to all the people of Israel that he was healed by the powerful name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, the man you crucified but whom God raised from the dead. For Jesus is the one referred to in the Scriptures, where it says, ‘The stone that you builders rejected has now become the cornerstone.’ There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.” The members of the council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, for they could see that they were ordinary men with no special training in the Scriptures. They also recognised them as men who had been with Jesus. [NLT]Acts 4:7-13
The Literal Version of the Bible
And standing them in the midst, they were inquiring, By what sort of power, or by what sort of name did you do this? Then being filled of the Holy Spirit, Peter said to them, Rulers of the people and elders of Israel, if we are being examined today on a good work of an infirm man, by what this one has been healed, let it be known to all of you, and to all the people of Israel, that in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, in this name this one stands before you whole. This One is the Stone counted worthless by you the builders, the One who has come to be into the Head of the Corner; (Psa. 118:22) and there is salvation in no other One, for neither is there any other name under Heaven having been given among men by which we must be saved. But beholding the boldness of Peter and John, and having perceived that they are untaught and uneducated men, they marvelled. And they recognised them, that they were with Jesus. LITVActs 4:7-13
I have gathered together the remaining questions that I gave you at the beginning of this segment. That is not to say they are all the questions we could ask but they are enough for the moment. Also notice that I don’t just simply tell you the answers gem by gem. Rather, I give you pointers along the way and leave you to put the pieces of your findings together. It is part of the inductive method of teaching. I leave you room to make your own discoveries but in doing so give you the answers or the keys to the answers in the process. So you can learn by putting the method into practice, or doing the things I suggest you do. Or alternatively you can wait until the end of the Gems process to find out “the answer” for the passage or question in focus. Either way you learn more. But the real learning takes place when you do it for yourself so that in the end you are familiar with the process and have built it into your life. That is the premise of Deeper Bible classes as well. I know it drives people to the point of frustration in waiting for the answer. But what my students don’t realise is that with every little failed step, they are getting stronger and stronger in the method of finding out. Even if they feel they have failed in the process, overall they are finding that the way of doing it is growing within them.
Last night the 601 Class almost solved a major problem that Bible “experts” have debated for a long time and still come nowhere near the solution. They just go round and round sharing their theories and their ignorance. It is not until we turn to the Bible for answers to Bible questions that we find them. Last night I hoped the groups would solve the problem for themselves in class. All they had to do was go one final step. One more step and they would have solved it. Oh, we solved it in the end with my guidance to the last step. But the real growing and the real excitement comes when you learn to find the answer for yourself, simply by reading The Book. That almost happened last night. But I guarantee they will not miss that last step next time. We grow in the process as we practice it.
Now I am doing the same thing with you here. I have pulled together the remaining questions and arranged them. Notice I have returned you to the two versions above which contrast the healing and saving idea. We will move to that next Gem. In the meantime let me pick up on two seemingly small irrelevant questions. Nothing is irrelevant in the Word of God.
Why is John still silent?
I told you in Gem 1335 that the Acts of the Apostles is based on the activities of two Apostles in particular, namely Peter and Paul. Peter, the Apostle to the Jews is the focus of Acts 1 to 12, while Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles is the focus of Acts 13 to 28. It is not that John was silent. We were told that he preached and taught too. The way Luke is compiling the material is to focus on Peter as the oracle or mouth piece of God and Paul who is the same. One is the Apostle to the Jews and the other is the Apostle to the Gentiles. These two are in focus because that is the direction and thrust of the book. Because that is the case, it seems that John didn’t say anything. Not so, John preached and taught too but we just don’t have his words recorded for us. What a pity. I for one would have loved to have a record of John’s teaching from the early chapters of Acts. I bet it was deep and thematic like his other writings. Or maybe, just maybe we do have a summary of what he taught in those early years recorded in his Gospel and his letters. Isn’t that how it works? The things we do in practice or as we practice, become the source for deeper inspiration later. Rest assured that God won’t let anything be lost that He knows you really need to know. Trust Him to give you all you need for training in righteousness and godliness to live this life as He intends. Remember, Acts is the manual for church or mission to live this Holy Spirit life on earth. (Gem 1339) The trouble with manuals is they are written for you to put into practice.
Is there anything to the fact that there are two references to “this one” in this passage? Are they contrastive?
There are two occasions when “this one” is in focus.
- . . . by what this one has been healed . . .
- This One is the Stone counted worthless by you the builders
- This One who has come to be the Head of the Corner (Corner stone)
- In This Name this one stands before you whole.
Wow, do you catch the significance here? Like I said two Gems ago, this section is packed with good stuff. Seemingly, small and unimportant, but powerful nonetheless. When it comes to God even the little things are important. I have shown you that in the Gems time after time. He has even the very hairs on your head numbered, but IN ORDER. (See Gem 989)
These two are being contrasted for effect by Peter. This One leads to this one being healed, whole and saved by virtue of this One Name.
Now its time for you to ponder a deeper matter.
- Do you want to know how he was healed or is there something else meant by the literal “by what this one has been healed?”
- Is healing in focus or is something more at stake?
- It seems there is something going on here that is more than just a healing.
- Was the man healed or saved?
- Why is the corner stone saying used here?
- Why don’t the Rulers and Elders respond to Peter’s boldness in other ways? Why do they just marvel?
- Is there any significance to the closing statement of this segment by Luke? “And they recognized them, that they were with Jesus.”
- Does it contrast with the reference to “untaught” or “uneducated” or is it used in another way?
- To what degree is Peter “filled with the Spirit”? And what does it mean?
The One who flung stars into space surrendered to cruel nails for you.Ian Vail (via Graham Kendrick)
The One who created people from clay allowed those same people to reject Him because He gave them free will.Ian Vail
Giving you free will is a measure of the Father’s love for you.Ian Vail
It is only seen in its full glory when that love is returned from a willing heart.Ian Vail
The Servant King by Graham Kendrick
- From heaven you came Helpless babe
- Entered our world Your glory veiled
- Not to be served but to serve
- And give Your life that we might live
Chorus: This is our God The Servant King He calls us now to follow Him To bring our lives as a daily offering Of worship to The Servant King
- There in the garden Of tears
- My heavy load He chose to bear
- His heart with sorrow was torn
- ‘Yet not My will But Yours,’ He said
- Come see His hands and His feet
- The scars that speak of sacrifice
- Hands that flung stars into space
- To cruel nails surrendered
- So let us learn how to serve
- And in our lives enthrone Him
- Each other’s needs to prefer
- For it is Christ we’re serving