Thursday, April 16, 2009

Daily - 4/16/09

Acts 4:1-12 (Friday, 1st reading)

1 While they were still speaking to the people, the priests, the captain of the temple guard, and the Sadducees confronted them,

2 disturbed that they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead.

3 They laid hands on them and put them in custody until the next day, since it was already evening.

4 But many of those who heard the word came to believe and (the) number of men grew to (about) five thousand.

5 On the next day, their leaders, elders, and scribes were assembled in Jerusalem,

6 with Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John, Alexander, and all who were of the high-priestly class.

7 They brought them into their presence and questioned them, "By what power or by what name have you done this?"

8 Then Peter, filled with the holy Spirit, answered them, "Leaders of the people and elders:

9 If we are being examined today about a good deed done to a cripple, namely, by what means he was saved,

10 then all of you and all the people of Israel should know that it was in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarean whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead; in his name this man stands before you healed.

11 He is 'the stone rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone.'

12 There is no salvation through anyone else, nor is there any other name under heaven given to the human race by which we are to be saved."


I'm always struck by the contrast between Peter before and after Pentecost. Before Pentecost we see a good chunk of his personality -- emotional, brash, maybe some cockiness -- but he always has faith. Maybe not enough faith, but he has it, going back to the first time we ever see him in Mark's gospel, where Christ takes over his boat. Peter hears him preach, and immediately calls him Master.

After Pentecost we see the man who holds the keys to the kingdom, anointed by Christ, and reinforced after the resurrection (see the "Feed my sheep" passage in John 21). He is a preacher, he heals the sick, and in Acts 9, he raises a person from the dead.

Last week I saw an interesting paragraph written by Pope Benedict. He wrote about this difference, then went on to say that Peter's human elements that we see so vividly in the gospels very likely stayed with him. He still carried the same human faults with him. Despite those, Christ used Peter for His purposes. THAT gives me great hope.

I can't leave this passage without addressing v12. Christ is the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father except through Him. He is the one to focus on, not anything else.