Peter filled with the Holy Spirit says, “Rulers and elders of our people, are we being questioned today because we’ve done a good deed for a crippled man? Do you want to know how he was healed?”
Then Peter, filled with [the power of] the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers and elders of the people [members of the Sanhedrin, the Jewish High Court], if we are being put on trial today [to interrogate us] for a good deed done to [benefit] a disabled man, as to how this man has been restored to health, let it be known and clearly understood by all of you, and by all the people of Israel, that in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you [demanded be] crucified [by the Romans and], whom God raised from the dead—in this name [that is, by the authority and power of Jesus] this man stands here before you in good health. This Jesus is the stone which was despised and rejected by you, the builders, but which became the chief Cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among people by which we must be saved [for God has provided the world no alternative for salvation].”
Now when the men of the Sanhedrin (Jewish High Court) saw the confidence and boldness of Peter and John, and grasped the fact that they were uneducated and untrained [ordinary] men, they were astounded, and began to recognize that they had been with Jesus. And seeing the man who had been healed standing there with them, they had nothing to say in reply. ~Acts 4:8-14 (AMP)
Peter spoke in the power of the Holy Spirit of God. Note that Peter was again filled with the Spirit (see Acts 2:4) and would experience another filling before the day ended (Acts 4:31). There is one baptism of the Spirit, and this is at conversion (1 Cor. 12:13), but there must be many fillings of the Spirit if the believer is to be an effective witness for Jesus Christ.
Peter respectfully began with an explanation of how the miracle occurred. Certainly, the members of the Sanhedrin had seen the crippled beggar many times, and perhaps they had even given alms to him and piously prayed for him. How was this well-known man healed? “By the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth!”
Those words must have pierced the hearts of the members of the council! They thought they had finished with the Prophet from Nazareth, and now His followers were telling everybody that Jesus was alive! Since the Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection of the dead, Peter’s statement was almost a declaration of war!
But the Spirit was telling Peter what to say (see Luke 21:12-15), and the apostle quoted Psalm 118:22, definitely a messianic reference (see Matt. 21:42; 1 Peter 2:4-8). He made it clear that the members of the council were “the builders” and that they had rejected God’s Stone, Jesus, the Son of God.
The image of “the stone” was not new to these men who were experts in the Old Testament Scriptures. They knew that the “rock” was a symbol of God and that the Prophet Daniel had used the rock to picture Messiah and the coming of His kingdom on earth. The Jews stumbled over the Rock and rejected Him, just as Psalm 118:22 had predicted. However, to those who have trusted Him, Jesus Christ is the precious Cornerstone and the Chief Cornerstone (Eph. 2:20).
Peter went on to explain that Jesus is not only the Stone, but He is also the Saviour (Acts 4:12). Peter saw in the healing of the beggar a picture of the spiritual healing that comes in salvation. “Made whole” in Acts 4:9 is a translation of the same Greek word “saved” in Acts 4:12, for salvation, means wholeness and spiritual health.
Jesus Christ is the Great Physician who alone can heal humanity’s greatest malady, the sickness of sin (Mark 2:14-17). Of course, Peter also had “all the people of Israel” in mind as he spoke (see Acts 4:10) because the message was still going out exclusively to the Jews. Even Psalm 118, from which Peter quoted, speaks of a future national salvation for Israel.
Bible Exposition Commentary – Be Dynamic (Acts 1-12)