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THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES - Chapter 4 - Verse 10
Verse 10. Be it known, etc. Peter might have evaded the question, or he might have resorted to many excuses and subterfuges, (Calvin,) if he had been desirous of avoiding this inquiry. But it was a noble opportunity for vindicating the honour of his Lord and Master. It was a noble opportunity also for repairing the evil which he had done by his guilty denial of his Lord. Although, therefore, this frank and open avowal was attended with danger, and although it was in the presence of the great and the mighty, yet he chose to state fully and clearly his conviction of the truth. Never was there an instance of greater boldness; and never could there be a more striking illustration of the fitness of the name which the Lord Jesus gave him, that of a rock, Joh 1:42; Mt 16:17,18.
The timid, trembling, yielding, and vacillating Simon, he who just before was terrified by a servant girl, and who on the lake was afraid of sinking, is now transformed into the manly, decided, and firm Cephas, fearless before the great council of the nation, and in an unwavering tone asserting the authority of Him whom he had just before denied, and whom they had just before put to death. It is not possible to account for this change except on the supposition that this religion is true. Peter had no worldly motive to actuate him. He had no prospect of wealth or fame by this. Even the hopes of honour and preferment which they had cherished before the death of Jesus, and which might have been supposed to influence them then, were now abandoned by the apostles. Their Master had died; and all their hopes of human honour and power had been buried in his grave. Nothing but the conviction of the truth could have wrought this change, and transformed this timid disciple to a bold and uncompromising apostle.
By the name. By the authority or power, Ac 3:6.
Of Jesus Christ. The union of these two names would be particularly offensive to the sanhedrim. They denied that Jesus was the Christ, or the Messiah; Peter, by the use of the word Christ, affirmed that he was. In the language then used, it would be, "By the name of Jesus, the Messiah."
Of Nazareth. Lest there should be any mistake about his meaning, he specified that he referred to the despised Nazarene; to him who had just been put to death, as they supposed, covered with infamy. Christians little regard the epithets of opprobrium which may be affixed to themselves or to their religion.
Whom ye crucified. There is emphasis in all the expressions that Peter uses. He had before charged the people with the crime of having put him to death, Ac 2:23; 3:14,15; but he now had the opportunity, contrary to all expectation, of urging the charge with still greater force on the rulers themselves, on the very council which had condemned him and delivered him to Pilate. It was a remarkable providence that an opportunity was thus afforded of urging this charge in the presence of the sanhedrim, and of proclaiming to them the necessity of repentance. Little did they imagine, when they condemned the Lord Jesus, that this charge would be so soon urged. This is one of the instances in which God takes the wise in their own craftiness, Job 5:13. They had arraigned the apostles; they demanded their authority for what they had done; and thus they had directly opened the way, and invited them to the serious and solemn charge which Peter here urges against them.
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