Skip navigation

Reflection on the Word – ‘Jesus, Name above all Names’
JCFL Prayer Vigil, 16th July 2015
David Watson (The Kings Centre, Southall)
 

Intro

In a house fire (terrible thing), what one thing would you grab? Other than children, wife, etc. What is most important to you?  When everything is falling apart, when you are really under pressure, what one thing do you grab on to? When everything is falling apart around you, what one thing do you hold on to?

Bible…

Peter and John were under pressure. Arrested and beingJesus, Name above all names tried by the very same people who had arrested and tried Jesus, and had him killed only a few weeks before.  Probably the very same court-room, it wasn’t looking good.

But what does Peter do?  He reminds them of what they had done, he points to the death of Jesus at their hands.  What on earth possessed him to do such a crazy thing?

We read in v8 that he was filled with the Holy Spirit, but the HS doesn’t make us some sort of automated mouthpiece, a sort of spiritual robot.  The Holy Spirit breathes through us, through our gifts, through our spirit and out into the world, enabling us to love and serve in a more powerful and significant way than we could possibly do in our own strength.

So why does Peter bring up the very thing that would be most contentious, the thing that may have led quite swiftly to his untimely demise?

Because in v12, “salvation is found in no-one else”.

The one thing that Peter clung to in his most pressured moment, when all was falling apart, was the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, because he knew it was the most important thing, more important than his own life, his own wellbeing, his own security, his own safety, because salvation is found in no-one else.  The only thing he knew he could hold on to when his very life was at risk, was the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus.  Salvation is found in no-one else.

Because no-one else could have done what Jesus did.  As we read in Philippians 2:5-11.  Jesus was at home in heaven, in intimate relationship with his father, surrounded and adored by the angels, at peace, full of joy, immersed in love.  And he gave it up.  Gave it all up to enter our broken and fallen world, to be born into shame, to be born into poverty, to be a refugee, to be rejected and despised, abandoned, humiliated, tortured and killed.

Only because he had no sin, could he take our sin (2 Cor 5:21).  No-one else could have done it, no-one else.  Salvation is found in no-one else.

He is the only way to salvation, as we read in John 14:6, the only way.  Peter wasn’t making up his theology when he said that salvation was found in no-one else.  Jesus had said the very same thing, “I am the way, the truth and the lifeNo-one comes to the Father except through me”.  No-one comes to the Father, except through me.

We are surrounded by competing claims to be the way.  Just get enough money and possessions and you will be secure, you will be happy, all will be well.  Get a good marriage partner, nice comfortable house, nice children, and you will be secure, happy and well.  Our book shops are full of books telling us how to be happy, how to be at peace.

I live in Southall, where 1/3 Sikh, 1/3 Muslim, 1/4 Hindu, plus some Ahmeddiya, Buddhists, Jains and many more.   Competing claims to know who God is, competing claims to be the way.

We can all say that we think we know the way, that we think we know who God is.  But only God himself can say what the way actually is.  Whether all ways are acceptable to him, whether it matters which way you go.

Peter was pretty clear what he believed.  Salvation is found in no-one else.  No-one else.

Jesus was pretty clear
what he knew.  I am the way, the truth and the life.  No-one comes to the Father except through me.  He knew his identity, where he was from, and he knew how we too could find the way back.  We are no longer in the dark about which way it is, no longer confused by competing claims to be the way, because God himself has come to earth, revealed himself, told us that the way was through himself, and then made that way possible through his death and his resurrection.Listen to the Heart of Jesus

The way back to a father in heaven who loves us, who longs to forgive us from our sin and free us from our guilt and shame.  The Father who runs to meet us when we come slowly back to him.  The Father who sweeps us up in his arms and lavishes grave and mercy upon us, not because we deserve it, but because he loves us.  The Father who promises us a place in heaven, a place of security and peace, a place where there will be no more crying, no more tears, no more pain.

Application

What one thing is most important to you?

Like Peter, would it be the cross and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ?

When the pressure mounts, is the salvation that is offered in Jesus worth more to you than your safety, your security, your comfort, your money, your health, your career, even your family?

Is it the one thing that you cling on to more than anything else?

And if it is, if do you believe as Peter and Jesus both declared, that salvation truly is found in no-one else, that Jesus really is the only way to the father, then what are we doing to offer that way to those around us that don’t know it?

What are we doing to point to the salvation of Jesus?  To encourage our friends, family, neighbours and work colleagues to find the salvation on offer in Jesus?

I don’t mean whether we are standing on street corners and shouting at people, but are we seeking opportunities to share Jesus with people in both words and in deeds, are we hungry for those around us to find the salvation that is found in no-one else so that we are on our knees praying that they too would find the way?

When you have one thing to cling on to, what will it be?

Lets pray.

Advertisements