Acts 4: 5-12
The next day the rulers, the elders and the teachers of the law met in Jerusalem. Annas the high priest was there, and so were Caiaphas, John, Alexander and others of the high priest’s family. They had Peter and John brought before them and began to question them: ‘By what power or what name did you do this?’
Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: ‘Rulers and elders of the people! If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a man who was lame and are being 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 but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. Jesus is
‘“the stone you builders rejected,
which has become the cornerstone.”
Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.’
Peter and John are before the Jewish court, look at the names of the the Jewish officials we read about here: Anna, the High Priest and Caiaphas.
Have we heard those names anywhere before?
“Then the detachment of soldiers with its commander and the Jewish officials arrested Jesus. They bound him and brought him first to Annas, who was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest that year.” (John 18: 12-13)
Peter and John are arrested and brought before the exact same people who just less than 2 months ago had sentenced Jesus to death by crucifixion. There was a very strong chance that they were going to meet the same fate as their leader. You’d think they’d tone it down a bit and watch what they say so as not to upset anyone. Keep their heads down – water down the message.
Hardly. Look at verses 10 & 12 again:
“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...Salvation is found in no-one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”
Look at what they say:
You crucified Jesus.
God raised him from the dead.
Salvation is found in no one else except Jesus.
There is no other name that can save anyone except the name of Jesus.
Could Peter be any more in your face? He boldly declares that Jesus Christ alone is the son of God and Jesus Christ is the only way to God.
To say that Jesus is the only way to God was controversial 2000 years ago and it is just as controversial, if not more so, today. Because by saying that Jesus is the only way to God what you are saying is that every other religion and every other way to God is wrong and misguided. In our world today it’s all about tolerance, political correctness and diversity. As long as I’m sincere, it doesn’t matter what you believe as long as you don't claim exclusive truth or attempt to impose your views on me. People say things like: 'There’s may ways to God, sure we all worship the same God' – and so to say that Jesus is the only way to God is one of the most politically incorrect statements you can make. It sounds arrogant in the extreme. How dare we say that other religions may not have it right?
We need to realise that in Peter and John’s day there were just as many different religions and views as there are today – and yet Peter boldly declares that salvation is found in NO ONE ELSE and that there is NO OTHER NAME which can save us except the name of Jesus. Not Buddah, not Mohammad, not Krishna- no name except Jesus.
Jesus is the only way to God because Jesus, and only Jesus, is the sinless Son of God who was able to pay the price for our sin and rebellion. Buddah didn’t die for me, Mohammad didn’t die for me, Krishna didn’t die for me – Jesus died for me and therefore only Jesus can save me.
Think about it – if you were God the Father and there was any other way at all except the death of Jesus to deal with our sin and make us right with Him – wouldn’t you have taken it? You would not put your son on the cross unless there was absolutely so other way for us to get saved.
Jesus said it himself – John 14:6:
“I am the way and the truth and the life. No-one comes to the Father except through me.”
In a postmodern world that wants us to believe that all roads lead to Heaven and everyone’s beliefs are just as valid and true as anyone else’s, it’s going to take a holy boldness and courage to tell people that Jesus, and Jesus alone, is the way we can know God.
Let me say this: There is no room for arrogance, rudeness or putting down people of other faiths. We are to respect them as people made in God's image – but that doesn’t mean we don’t boldly and unapologetically tell them about Jesus. In fact, to point them to the one who can save them, is the most loving thing we can do for them.