6 May. Acts 3:11-26

6 May. Peter explains that Jesus was the promised Messiah

“While the man [who had been healed after being crippled all his life] was holding onto Peter and John [and wouldn’t let them go], all the people were amazed and ran to them at Solomon’s Porch [in the outer courtyard of the Temple in Jerusalem].”

“When Peter saw this, he said to them, ‘People of Israel, why are you surprised? You are looking at us as if it were our own power or goodness that made this man walk. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our [Jewish] ancestors, gave glory to Jesus, his servant.'”

“'But you handed him over to be killed. Pilate decided to let him go free, but you told Pilate you did not want Jesus, You did not want the One who gives life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses to this.'”

“'It was faith in Jesus that made this crippled man well. You can see this man, and you know him. He was made completely well because of trust in Jesus, and you all saw it happen!'”

"'Brothers and sisters, I know you did those things to Jesus because neither you nor your leaders understood what you were doing… So you must change your hearts and lives! Come back to God, and he will forgive your sins. Then the Lord will give you times of spiritual rest.'”

“'And he will send Jesus [again], the One he chose to be the Christ [the Messiah or ‘anointed one’].But Jesus must stay in heaven [with the Father] until the time comes when all things will be made right again… Moses said, "The Lord your God will give you a prophet like me, who is one of your own people. You must listen to everything he tells you"…'”

“'He said to your father Abraham, "Through your descendants all the nations on earth will be blessed." God has raised up his servant Jesus and sent him to you first to bless you by turning each of you away from doing evil.'”

          (Acts 3:11-26)

 

 

Peter’s sermon to the Jews of Jerusalem shortly after the Day of Pentecost was a masterpiece of concise and persuasive oratory. In a few sentences, Peter summed up the great prophetic events in the life of the Jewish people, and showed how Jesus had fulfilled all the Messianic hopes and dreams of the Jewish people.

Starting with a healing miracle from God that the people had seen with their very own eyes, he went on to explain how this healing had been done in the ‘name’ (in the power) of Jesus – whose death they had just persuaded Pilate (rather reluctantly) to authorise.

It was faith in Jesus that had healed the crippled man. And if they wanted to be ‘healed’ too, “you must change your hearts and lives! Come back to God, and he will forgive your sins.”

Jesus had fulfilled all the prophesies in the Jewish Scriptures (the ‘Old Testament’). This was Jesus of whom Moses had said, "The Lord your God will give you a prophet like me, who is one of your own people. You must listen to everything he tells you." (see Deuteromony 18:15).

And this was the same Jesus to whom God was referring when he said to Abraham, "Through your descendants all the nations on earth will be blessed" (see Genesis 18:18). This is Jesus whom God sent to earth, firstly “to bless you [Jews] by turning each of you away from doing evil” and secondly, to bless all other non-Jewish people by saving them from evil too.

This speech by Peter would make a wonderful template for a talk during an outreach service today – a healing by God witnessed by newcomers, followed by an explanation of where the healing power originated, leading on to an explanation of how Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament Messianic prophesies and lived, died and rose again to put everyone right with God.

It was no coincidence that the number of Jesus’s followers increased by another two thousand as a direct result of God's healing and Peter's talk. We can learn a lot today from this event about how churches could attract non-believers into the kingdom of God!

The photo (by Tom Neys) shows the chapel on the summit of Mt Nebo, where Moses died shortly after God had shown him the land God had promised to his ancestors, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and where the Jews, by following the teaching of Jesus the Messiah were to be a people through whom “all the nations on earth will be blessed”.

You can read more about the missionary outreach of the early Christian church on The Bible Journey website @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/…/peter-john-heal-a-crippl…/


Printer Printable Version