The Aftermath of the Healing
Then Peter took the lame man by the right hand and helped him up. And as he did, the man’s feet and ankles were instantly healed and strengthened. He jumped up, stood on his feet, and began to walk! Then, walking, leaping, and praising God, he went into the Temple with them. All the people saw him walking and heard him praising God. When they realized he was the lame beggar they had seen so often at the Beautiful Gate, they were absolutely astounded! They all rushed out in amazement to Solomon’s Colonnade, where the man was holding tightly to Peter and John.Acts 3:7-11
Peter saw his opportunity and addressed the crowd. “People of Israel,” he said, “what is so surprising about this? And why stare at us as though we had made this man walk by our own power or godliness? For it is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—the God of all our ancestors—who has brought glory to His servant Jesus by doing this. This is the same Jesus whom you handed over and rejected before Pilate, despite Pilate’s decision to release Him. You rejected this holy, righteous One and instead demanded the release of a murderer. You killed the Author of life, but God raised Him from the dead. And we are witnesses of this fact! Through faith in the name of Jesus, this man was healed—and you know how crippled he was before. Faith in Jesus’ name has healed him before your very eyes.”
“Friends, I realise that what you and your leaders did to Jesus was done in ignorance. But God was fulfilling what all the prophets had foretold about the Messiah—that He must suffer these things. Now repent of your sins and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped away. Then times of refreshment will come from the presence of the Lord, and He will again send you Jesus, your appointed Messiah. For He must remain in heaven until the time for the final restoration of all things, as God promised long ago through His holy prophets. Moses said, ‘The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from among your own people. Listen carefully to everything He tells you.’ Then Moses said, ‘Anyone who will not listen to that Prophet will be completely cut off from God’s people.’ “Starting with Samuel, every prophet spoke about what is happening today. You are the children of those prophets, and you are included in the covenant God promised to your ancestors. For God said to Abraham, ‘Through your descendants all the families on earth will be blessed.’ When God raised up His servant, Jesus, He sent Him first to you people of Israel, to bless you by turning each of you back from your sinful ways.”Acts 3:12-26
I have divided what remains of Acts 3 into two segments – admittedly two large ones. These two sections require our attention, especially Peter’s Speech. Most of us want to follow the action and neglect the speeches, right? Come on, admit it. When it comes to speeches or summary statements or things like that, most of us turn off. You do that to your own disadvantage if you wish to really understand the Book of Acts. The speeches are important. I almost neglected the remaining segment of the action in preference to tackling Peter’s speech. But then I knew in doing so that I would leave out an important segment – the aftermath of the healing. What happened after the healing is important as well. Important in terms of the reactions of people and important too in terms of what Peter said. That is the reason I divided these two sections. The man’s reaction to his own healing and the people’s reaction is important to this story. It is NOT a superfluous addition. The speech which follows is also NOT an irrelevant, boring piece in an otherwise exciting story. It is integral to the flow of the Book of Acts.
Time again to take stock of these elements before us, to do your thinking and to ask your questions of the text to ensure we have complete understanding of what Luke has written for us. It is all important. He was a meticulous doctor, trained to pay attention to the smallest detail. He didn’t let anything escape his attention. Let’s follow in his footsteps.
Iremind you again of the preliminary questions I came up with for the speech which I gave you in Gem 1390. Here they are again.
- Why is the speech so unconnected to the Miracle?
- It is like the speech could have been on any occasion. Did Peter really make this speech at the scene of this miracle?
- Are the critics right when they claim it is a canned “Jesus speech” squeezed in anywhere there was an opportunity.
- After the first line it seems no longer miracle connected?
- The second part of Peter’s speech seems to have a different focus.
- Do the two parts belong together?
- From a Westerner’s point of view, verses 19 – 25 appear to focus on unrelated things.
- “You killed the author of life” seems to be an important statement. Holy Spirit, help me to understand the depths of it.
- Is it really true that “starting with Samuel, every prophet spoke about what is happening today”?
And many more “little” questions over words used. I will pick out the important ones and include those in the following Gems.
But before I analyse the speech I think we should look at Luke’s treatment of the aftermath of the healing, before the speech. It is a segment that we might be prone to miss in the midst of all the detail of the excitement of the healing. But the aftermath is important too. What we do with the times of God’s intervention (or should I say Holy Spirit intervention?) are just as important as the miracle itself. Maybe even more so. Many of us are trapped in the sameness of life, while looking for a miracle, little realising we haven’t done anything with the last miracle God did for us.
Take time now to ponder these two segments in more detail. Come up with your questions and then think about them. Share them with me if you wish to. In the next Gems we will look at the Aftermath of the Healing and then move on to look at Peter’s Speech.
I will walk as God created me to be; full grown; mature; in the full stature of Christ. I will be RESPONSIBLE.T D Jakes
Paying attention to detail in the Word of God is a major part of being responsible for your own spiritual life.Ian Vail
Don’t expect or allow everything the preacher tells you about the Word of God to be everything you know about the Word of God.Ian Vail
It is a poor student who remains at the place the teacher (or preacher) left him/her.Ian Vail
Level up! Pay attention to the detail you find in the Word of God and think about it. Ask your questions; read the fine print.Ian Vail