“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.” Acts 3.11-16
So Peter had just healed a lame man. As I said in a previous post, this was reminiscent of Jesus’ healing in the city. It was this and other deeds that got Jesus killed in the first place. But now, seeing what Peter and John were doing amazed the people. They were in the temple courts, in Solomon’s Colonnade, when ”all the people were astonished and came running to them.” So Peter addresses the people.
In his address he doesn’t soften his blows or lessen his accusations. I don’t get the sense that he’s saying these things like ”you killed the author of life” out of anger — but rather out of conviction. For Jesus is alive. He was raised from the dead. Peter’s now faithfully fulfilling the Great Commission. But he knows his audience and so his reference to ”the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob” gets the attention of the Jews. Peter reminds them they “disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released.” And his point comes down to this — “it is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has completely healed” the lame man, ”as you can all see.’
It’s ironic that these Jews who killed Jesus, were now astonished at the same power flowing through his disciples. They rejected him once, but God in his grace, returns through the power of the Holy Spirit to speak with bold persuasion.
Isn’t this true of us? We too have rejected God’s perfect plan for us. We have sinned and fallen short of his glory. We are not unlike the Jews who killed God’s Holy One and disowned him before the whole world.
Now hopefully, we don’t remain in that state of fallenness. We turn, we stand, we repent, we confess and we love God. We give him our hearts, lives and souls that we might be fully his servants in this world and in the next.
Let us stand amazed in the presence of Jesus who has the power to save, the power to heal, the power to raise the dead to life and make the lame walk. Let us call upon the name of Jesus so that the world might know. By his grace and for his glory.
“O Lord God, you are good. I find myself relying upon you every day. I am lost without, a sinner without hope. But next to you, I am delightful! Blessed and arrayed in your splendor. Come now, Holy Spirit, fall upon me. Fill me with your power and might. Help me be fully yours and you fully mine. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen