Acts 3:11-26 11 While the man held on to Peter and John, all the people were astonished and came running to them in the place called Solomon’s Colonnade. 12 When Peter saw this, he said to them: “Fellow Israelites, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? 13 The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus. You handed him over to be killed, and you disowned him before Pilate, though he had decided to let him go. 14 You disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you. 15 You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this. 16 By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has completely healed him, as you can all see. 17 “Now, fellow Israelites, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did your leaders. 18 But this is how God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, saying that his Messiah would suffer. 19 Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, 20 and that he may send the Messiah, who has been appointed for you—even Jesus. 21 Heaven must receive him until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets. 22 For Moses said, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people; you must listen to everything he tells you. 23 Anyone who does not listen to him will be completely cut off from their people.’ 24 “Indeed, beginning with Samuel, all the prophets who have spoken have foretold these days. 25 And you are heirs of the prophets and of the covenant God made with your fathers. He said to Abraham, ‘Through your offspring all peoples on earth will be blessed.’ 26 When God raised up his servant, he sent him first to you to bless you by turning each of you from your wicked ways.”
Last week we looked at Acts 3, we spent some time considering the miracle that had taken place. The man born lame is now able to walk. A number of questions were raised.
- Why that particular man and not the many beggars that were normally there?
- Is there such a thing as a divine appointment?
- What’s in a name?
- We sang a chorus that many of us learnt when we were young: “Peter and John went to pray.”
- We saw Peter the evangelist and personal worker as he allowed God to use him in service.
- This began with a desire to pray, then a miracle and a sermon.
When I read through these verses the words of an old hymn come to mind, for this is what Peter wanted the crowd to understand.
“To God be the Glory great things He hath done”:- 12 When Peter saw this, he said to them: “Fellow Israelites, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk?
Don’t look at us, or then man says Peter, this is God’s doing. I believe in miracles. This was a miracle something out of place, it was not normal.
This healing drew a crowd, many wondered how this could be, or whether it was the man they knew.
I am sure that most people knew who Peter and John were, this miracle took place on the east side of the temple, it was there where the Lord had ministered, it was also there where the early church would pray and worship.
In Peter’s first sermon he challenged the concept that the believers were drunk- he also took his hearers back to the Old Testament as a proof of what had happened.
- In this sermon he wanted the crowd to understand that what had happened could only be attributed to God. It was not the power of Peter and John.
- He also makes it very clear that whatever faith this man had it came from the Lord Jesus. 16 By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and
know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has completely healed him, as you can all see.
THREE things are evident:
- The lame man had to acknowledge the Lord Jesus,
- He also had to exercise personal faith in the Lord Jesus,
- IT Is the Lord Jesus who takes that small seed of faith and turns it into something beautiful and something good. “It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has completely healed him, as you can all see.” (VS 16)
I love that, it doesn’t completely depend on me it was and it is Jesus name and the faith that come through Him.
I am forgiven; I am saved, yes even healed, not because of the preacher, or my will power or faith, but because of the Lord Jesus.
It is when we rely on the externals, our circumstances, others and the trappings are around us that we can be so easily led astray and distracted.
Peter points out that the Old Testament is fulfilled.
- He reminds his hearers that they rejected the Lord Jesus and sort His crucifixion!
- Words are important things, names and titles also have power; Peter uses a number of titles for the lord Jesus to get his message across- to us they may be cause for misunderstanding, for his audience they knew too well of Whom he was speaking: God’s Son, Jesus, The Holy one, the Just One, the author of life. (In red in text above).
- The cross was their answer, the ultimate rejection of God’s plan- THE EMPTY TOMB WAS GOD’S REMEDY and RESPONSE TO THEIR REBELLION.
- This healing was proof that the Lord Jesus was alive. In such a public place, in such a dramatic way! God got their attention.
Has God got your attention?
Peter’s message would make more sense to the crowd of the day than it would too many today. Different crowd different approach. In Acts 2, Peter addressed people who knew the Scriptures, it was the same here. He went from the known to the unknown.
Among the important things that stand out in this passage is that BEFORE A SINNER CAN EXPERIENCE CONVERSION THERE MUST BE CONVICTION.
I believe that we live in a day where many deny sin and people become lovers of self. Paul speaks of this time 2 Timothy 3 “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.
Unless the patient is convinced that he is sick, he will never accept the diagnosis or take the treatment. What I love about this passage is that Peter made the main thing the main thing- he took the emphasis of himself, off the healed man and focussed, put the light directly on the Lord Jesus!
- We are a particular stage in our life as individuals.
- We are a particular stage in our life as a church.
THE IMPORTANT THING IS TO MAKE THE MAIN THING THE MAIN THING AND FOCUSS OUR DIRECTION AND EFFORTS ON THE LORD JESUS, IN ALL THAT WE DO.