While Peter and John were speaking to the people, the priests, the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees came to them, much annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming that in Jesus there is the resurrection of the dead. So they arrested them and put them in custody until the next day, for it was already evening. But many of those who heard the word believed; and they numbered about five thousand.
The next day their rulers, elders, and scribes assembled in Jerusalem,with Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John, and Alexander, and all who were of the high-priestly family. When they had made the prisoners stand in their midst, they inquired, “By what power or by what name did you do this?” Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders, 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, 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.
This Jesus is ‘the stone that was rejected by you, the builders; it has become the cornerstone.’ There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among mortals by which we must be saved.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
In the Gospels, we become familiar with Peter’s travails and missteps—his impetuous suggestion at the Transfiguration to erect three shelters, one for Jesus, one for Moses, one for Elijah; his lack of faith as he begins to sink while walking toward Christ on the Sea of Galilee; and, above all, his denial in the high priest’s courtyard that he was a disciple of Jesus.
Peter and John’s confrontation following Peter’s healing of a cripple likely occurs in the same venue where Jesus was brought before the Sanhedrin. But Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, is a different man than the one we met earlier in the Gospels. Peter fearlessly challenges the leaders as they complain about a “good deed done to a cripple.” Peter responds that all was done in the name of Jesus Christ, now raised from the dead. Jesus, the rejected stone, has become the cornerstone.
How can I be more like Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit and fearless in proclaiming and living my faith in the name of Jesus Christ?
―George Penman Sullivan, Jr. is a Jesuit-educated lay leader who helped found Chicago’s Ignatian Volunteer Corps. He and his wife, Dorothy, live in Wilmette IL, and have four children and three grandchildren.
“Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will boldly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am God’s ambassador. Pray that I may declare it boldly, as I should.”
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