Acts 3:11-26

Written by kathleen on Jan 11, 2015 in - No Comments

 

 

 

 

Acts 3:11-26 

Radical refreshing

11 Now as the lame man who was healed held on to Peter and John, all the people ran together to them in the porch which is called Solomon’s, greatly amazed.

12 So when Peter saw it, he responded to the people: “Men of Israel, why do you marvel at this? Or why look so intently at us, as though by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk?

Peter jumps on the opportunity to challenge the crowd saying “Men of Israel, why do you marvel at this? You know your history, how God parted the Red Sea, provided manna from heaven, used a slingshot to kill a giant. Our God is the God of the miraculous; so why are you surprised that He healed a lame man?-he continues —

13 The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified His Servant Jesus, whom you delivered up and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let Him go. 14 But you denied the Holy One and the Just, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, 15 and killed the Prince of life, whom God raised from the dead, of which we are witnesses.

In today’s modern world, there are so many different and strange ideas about God, it is helpful for us to be clear about which God we serve and speak about.

We can say “God” without realizing that our idea of God and others ideas of God are completely different; this is why Peter makes it clear which God he is speaking of; this is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob..

Peter then boldly lays the guilt of Jesus’ death right where it belongs. Pilate, the Roman governor, was determined to let Him go, but the Jewish mob lead by the religious leaders insisted on the crucifixion of Jesus

Were the Jews guilty of the death of Jesus? Yes, but so were the Gentiles. The Romans would not have crucified Jesus without the Jews, and the Jews could not have crucified Jesus without the Romans. Both groups own the guilt.

God made certain that both Jew and Gentile shared in the guilt of Jesus’ death. In fact, it was not political, ethnical, or cultural circumstances that put Jesus on   the cross. It was all of mankind’s sin. If you want to know who put Jesus on the cross, look at me or look in the mirror

One of the ironies of the crucifixion of Jesus is that while the crowd rejected Jesus, they embraced a criminal and a murderer named Barabbas so Peter is calling them out for them to take ownership of their decision. (We must take responsibility that we have all sinned and come short of God’s desire for our lives) Rms.3:23. RC questions

Of course, the Prince (author) of life (Jesus) could not remain in the grave, and the apostles and many others were all witnesses of the fact of His resurrection.

16 And His name, through faith in His name, has made this man strong, whom you see and know. Yes, the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect soundness (healing) in the presence of you all.

Peter is saying that it is in the name of Jesus that this man has been made whole. This means more than him saying “in Jesus name.” It means that Peter consciously did this in the authority and power of Jesus, not the authority and power of Peter or the faith that was exercised in the healing. Other words not only did the healing itself come from God, but even the faith to believe came from Him!

17 Yet now, brethren, I know that you did it in ignorance, as did also your rulers. 18 But those things which God foretold by the mouth of all His prophets, that the Christ would suffer, He has thus fulfilled.

I like Peter’s tact here. He said, “What you did, you did through ignorance.” He left the door open for his audience to repent.

Even though Peter allowed that they acted ignorantly, and had called for the execution of Jesus in ignorance of God’s eternal plan.

This does not make them innocent, but carefully defines the nature of their guilt. If we sin in ignorance, it is still sin, but it is different from sin done with full knowledge which is called transgression. (A willful choice to disobey)

He also insisted that Christ’s death was not accidental or a mistake. It was all part of a prophetic plan.

Despite all the evil they did to Jesus, it did not change or derail God’s plan. God can take the most horrible evil and use it for good. Joseph could say to his brothers, “you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good.”   This same principle was at work in the crucifixion of Jesus and is at work in us today no matter what is happening in our lives according to Rom 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

19 Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, Repentance does not describe being sorry but describes the act of turning around and is a word of hopeYou have done wrong, but you can turn around to get it right with God!

Peter didn’t say, “Get your life together, and be converted.” He said REPENT rise up and walk with Jesus

Repentance is not remorse. Remorse says, “I feel bad about what I did, but that’s my weakness, so I’ll probably do it again.”

Repentance is not regret. Regret says, “I feel bad about what I did because I got caught.”

Repentance is not resolve. Resolve says, “I feel bad about what I did, but I’ll try harder next time.”

 is a return to the Lord, a change of thinking, and a change of direction, which Repentanceresults in a change of heart. Repentance says “I change my mind about who Jesus is.”

If you have been resisting God’s Spirit’s tug at your heart, change your mind about who you think Jesus Christ is, and give your life to Him.

If you have been grieving or quenching the Spirit, change direction and pursue Him instead of being apathetic toward Him deal directly with the sin you know He is speaking to you about.

Conversion is a work God does in us. Being a Christian is not “turning over a new leaf,” it is being a new creation in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Blotted out has the idea of wiping ink off of a document. Ink in the ancient world had no acid content and didn’t soak into the paper. It could be wiped off with a damp cloth. Peter is saying that God will wipe away our record of sin just like that! If we just ask

Peter is telling them to turn around in their thinking and actions. “You looked at Jesus as One worthy of death. Change your mind concerning Him and see He is the Prince of Life. Your ignorance nailed Him to the tree. Now repent and bow your knee.” He is not saying, “Get your life together.” He’s saying “Change your mind.” (Here’s why)

19b. so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, 20 and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, 21 whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.

The times of refreshing” have a prophetic meaning spoken of in Deuteronomy 30, Joel 2, and Zechariah 12, they speak of the time when Jesus returns and rules the earth in righteousness.

Peter goes so far as to say, “that He may send Jesus Christ” implying that if the Jews as a nation repented, God the Father would send Jesus to return in glory.

But this can also speak to you and me personally. We can be refreshed whenever we repent of how we used to think or act and turn toward Jesus. That is when you will experience times of refreshing upon your life

Peter is also making it clear that Jesus will remain in heaven until the times of restoration of all things, and since the repentance of Israel is one of the all things, there is some sense in which the return of Jesus in glory will not happen until Israel repents.

Peter is essentially offering Israel the opportunity to quicken the return of Jesus by embracing Him on a national level, something that must happen before Jesus will return Matt 23:37-39 Rom 11:24

22. For Moses truly said to the fathers, ‘The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your brethren. Him you shall hear in all things, whatever He says to you.

23. And it shall be that every soul who will not hear that Prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people.

24 Yes, and all the prophets, from Samuel and those who follow, as many as have spoken, have also foretold these days. 25 You are sons of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying to Abraham, ‘And in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed.’  26 To you first, God, having raised up His Servant Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from your iniquities.”

The Jews of Peter’s day were aware of this prophecy of Moses recorded in Deuteronomy 18:15

Some thought that the Prophet would be someone different than the Messiah; Peter is making it clear that they are one and the same.

The destruction promised in the prophecy that every soul who will not hear that Prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people would become their legacy of this generation of Jews. (To us today)

Before leaving this chapter I would like to consider one other aspect: Not only do Peter and John provide principles for us, but the lame man is a picture of us.

Like the crippled man, we too were lame from birth. Adam, our father in the flesh, fell. And so great was his fall that all of his descendants were born lame. Unable to walk with God, or after the things of God, Therefore we sat outside the temple—alienated from God because of our sin—and we begged enough silver or gold to get us by for one more day. And then when we least expected it, Jesus grabbed us by the hand and said, “Stand up and walk. I’m calling you into the kingdom. I’m taking you to heaven.” it is no wonder that like the crippled man, as a Christian, can we not only walk, but we can leap and praise God for His goodness and grace!