3 May 2017Acts 3:11-20
“See and know” (v. 16)
Psalm: Psalm 145:1-7
Once some people in the temple area saw the beggar healed and transformed, "walking and praising God" (Acts 3:9), news spread fast. People came running from all over. If there was any temptation on Peter's part to take the credit for this healing, he doesn't show it. Immediately he launches into a sermon that gives the glory to Jesus "and the faith that is through Jesus has given him [the crippled man] this perfect health in the presence of all of you."
Seeing or witnessing is a key theme in today's passage. The crowd is faced with a healed man and they have to decide who or what has healed him. Peter spells out that Jesus is the healer. But Peter also says clearly in verse 15 that he and others are "witnesses" that God raised Jesus from the dead. Two extraordinary events have been witnessed, but what will the crowd around Peter and John make of it all?
Peter has a clear invitation here for the newly assembled crowd. With the evidence before them of a man who had been crippled from birth now able to walk, will they acknowledge the authority and power of Jesus? Peter is not condemning of this Jewish crowd. He does say that they and their leaders have acted in ignorance towards Jesus (verse 17). What is important here is not criticism. Peter is pointing to a better way, a different way, a journey that needs to begin with a change of heart - or repentance.
Another lovely phrase to look at is in verse 20. Peter tells his audience that a change of heart will result in "times of refreshing" as they receive Jesus into their hearts. If they (and if we) sincerely change our ways and align ourselves to God's will, this enables God to provide the most wonderful sense of refreshment. The world looks different, our relationships take on a different dimension, the life and breath that we have been given, even today itself, is marvellously precious. And the glory goes to God, our Creator, Saviour and Sustainer.
- If you haven't already given God thanks for your life today, this may be an appropriate time to do so.
- "Times of refreshing" are precious in a journey of faith. As well as reflecting on previous oases in our lives, ask God for greater discernment to glimpse God's glory in the everyday events of this day.