Summary: EASTER 3(B) - April 14, 2002 - Jesus’ name is above every name: JESUS is a name which many reject; and, JESUS is the only name which saves.
JESUS NAME IS ABOVE EVERY NAME!
Acts 4:8-12 - April 14, 2002
8Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: "Rulers and elders of the people! 9If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a cripple and are asked how he was healed, 10then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. 11He is " `the stone you builders rejected, which has become the capstone.
12Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved."
Dearest Fellow-Redeemed and Saints in the Lord:
What’s in a name? We hear our name spoken often from day to day and week to week, and we may not even know the meaning of our name. We feel sometimes there is not that much importance in a name. In our text we are reminded of the very fact that what is in a name is everything. We are reminded that in the name of Jesus we as believers find salvation. It is a name that is above every name. Paul re-minds us from the Book of Philippians when we are told: "Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name"(PHILIPPIANS 2:9). The next two verses say, "At the name of Jesus every knee should bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth and every tongue con-fess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
So what’s in a name? Today we learn that everything is in a name. We are reminded, "Jesus’ Name is above every name." I. This Jesus is a name which many reject; and yet II. This Jesus is the only name that saves.
I. JESUS IS A NAME WHICH MANY REJECT
To remind us of the setting of our text: Peter and John were spending time in Jerusalem after the resurrection. They had healed a beggar who was crippled from birth. After that, many people were anx-ious to listen to Peter and John and the message of the resurrection. We are told that many of the people who came and heard them believed. So they went around the city preaching more and more about this Jesus of Nazareth. Then they were put into prison, because not everyone was excited to hear about this message of salvation. There were many who rejected that name of Jesus, mainly the leaders.
We find Peter and John brought out of prison, and now they were standing before the Sanhedrin. Members of that ruling council or church council were the elders and teachers of the law and also the high priests of the day. As Peter stands there, we are given his defense or his address in our text. Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: "Rulers and elders of the people!" Peter realized that he was not standing before this ruling council alone. Once again the promise of God had been fulfilled; for Jesus had told the disciples that when they were brought before leaders and authorities, they would not have to worry because the Lord God would give them the words to speak and the things to say. Now as Peter stood before this ruling council, these leaders and authorities, he was filled with the Holy Spirit. He was given the words to speak and the things to say.
What does Peter say? He was not going to stand accused for doing something that was right, but he was going to lay the blame where it needed to be placed. ?If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a cripple and are asked how he was healed, then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified." This Jesus Christ of Nazareth whom they thought was out of their lives forever because they put Him to death. That was the name they had rejected. Peter reminds the leaders and all the people of Israel were the ones that rejected Jesus. He includes in that name the title "Christ," which meant the Messiah, which meant Anointed One. He also includes what they despised the most--Jesus Christ of Nazareth. For they were always under the assumption of what good could come from Nazareth? It was this Jesus, this Savior, the Anointed Messiah of Nazareth whom they crucified. If they didn’t understand, he tells them, "He is the stone you builders rejected." He was the one they rejected. He was the stone that was to be used as the cornerstone. In-stead, they rejected Him and put Him to death on the cross. We find it appalling; find it unbelievable that anyone would reject Jesus. Yet, we know that according to God’s great plan of salvation, this is exactly what needed to take place in order for sins to be forgiven. Jesus of Nazareth needed to be rejected by many.