THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 28
SCRIPTURE: Acts 3
Acts 2 details the birth of the church. Acts 3 shows us the church in action. As the chapter opens Peter and John were going to the Temple complex to pray. This tells us that those early Christians in Jerusalem still had deep Jewish roots and other than meeting in each other’s homes, they had no place to gather other than the Temple.
On their way in they meet a man that had been handicapped since birth. In the next chapter we will discover that he was 40 years old when this happened. So, he had undoubtedly spent decades begging at one of the gates to the Temple. By the way, since he was handicapped, he would have never been allowed into the Temple. Sitting outside one of the gates would have been as close as he ever came to being in the Temple.
Other than 3,000 people being saved which is a huge miracle, the healing of this man is the first recorded miracle after Jesus ascended to heaven. Don’t miss the fact that it was done in the name of Jesus.
The miracle may have had a couple of purposes. One, it was undoubtedly intended to help this man in ways that he had never been helped before. Two, it created another opportunity to draw a crowd so that the Gospel could be preached again much like what happened in Acts 2.
As you read through what Peter said, you will discover that he had not lost his boldness. He went right at them. He correctly called them out on delivering Jesus to Pilate, demanding Barabbas be released instead of Jesus, and then being responsible for killing Jesus.
The crucifixion of Jesus may have been man’s last word on the subject of Jesus. But the empty tomb was God’s last word. And Peter was not shy in telling the crowd that God, indeed, raised Jesus from the grave.
But Peter didn’t leave the crowd without hope. It is one thing to come face to face with the wrong you have done and the good God has done. But if that good that God has done is unavailable to you, it is nothing but a taunting.
So, in verse 19 Peter challenges the crowd to repent. He gives us two results of true repentance. One, sin is forgiven. Two, times of refreshing will come. Peter went on in verse 21 to assure the crowd that Jesus will return.
What a great miracle! What a great message! What a great gospel! What a great Savior!