MISSION IN THE WAY OF JESUS

Opening Prayer

Loving Savior, use my Bible reading today to show me more of who you are and where you are calling me to be more like you.

Read ACTS 3:11–26

Peter Speaks to the Onlookers

11 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.

17 “Now, fellow Israelites, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did your leaders. 18 But this is how God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, saying that his Messiah would suffer. 19 Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, 20 and that he may send the Messiah, who has been appointed for you—even Jesus. 21 Heaven must receive him until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets. 22 For Moses said, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people; you must listen to everything he tells you. 23 Anyone who does not listen to him will be completely cut off from their people.’[a]

24 “Indeed, beginning with Samuel, all the prophets who have spoken have foretold these days. 25 And you are heirs of the prophets and of the covenant God made with your fathers. He said to Abraham, ‘Through your offspring all peoples on earth will be blessed.’[b] 26 When God raised up his servant, he sent him first to you to bless you by turning each of you from your wicked ways.”

Read full chapter

Footnotes

  1. Acts 3:23 Deut. 18:15,18,19
  2. Acts 3:25 Gen. 22:18; 26:4

New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Meditate

In what ways can we learn from the example of the gentleness of Peter and John?

Think Further

This passage is full of dramatic and arresting phrases, beginning with the statement that the man who a moment ago was ‘walking and jumping, and praising God’ (v. 8) is now clinging on to Peter and John. We noted that he had been simply a fixed object to the crowds passing by him every day, but now those same people ‘came running’ (v. 11) to witness the transformation that had taken place. The beggar has gone from nonentity to celebrity in no time at all, so it is hardly surprising that he seeks protection and assurance from the apostles. People who are touched by the healing power of the name of Jesus need time and space to process their experience and find their feet in the kingdom of God.

The sudden appearance of a large crowd at the temple gate offers a God-given opportunity to share the good news and Peter seizes the moment. The focus of his message is entirely upon Jesus and, with the memory of Calvary still fresh in mind, he reminds the Jerusalem crowd of their complicity in that event: ‘You killed the author of life’ (v. 15). What an amazing statement this is, implying that Jesus is identified with the Creator God and also that he is the One who brings the gift of life to a world existing in the shadow of death. Having convicted his hearers of the rejection of the Messiah, Peter offers them hope by saying that they had ‘acted in ignorance’ (v. 17). Surely, he had in mind the prayer of Jesus on the cross: ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.’1 Not only does the early church imitate Jesus in their way of life together, but also in the Christ-like manner of forgiveness and compassion toward people whose unbelief arose from being swept along by the ignorance and passion of the crowd. Does this provide us with a model for evangelism today?

Apply

Reflect on the above closing question, in light of Jesus’ words in John 20:21.

Closing prayer

Lord Jesus, please increase your humility in me so that I might continue to bless those around me in the ways that you did.

Last Updated on May 24, 2024 by kingstar

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