Reading: Acts 3
And all the people saw him walking and praising God, and recognized him as the one who sat at the Beautiful Gate of the temple, asking for alms. And they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him. While he clung to Peter and John, all the people, utterly astounded, ran together to them in the portico called Solomon's.
And when Peter saw it he addressed the people: "Men of Israel, why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we have made him walk? The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified his servant Jesus, whom you delivered over and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release him. But you denied the Holy and Righteous One, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses. And his name--by faith in his name--has made this man strong whom you see and know, and the faith that is through Jesus has given the man this perfect health in the presence of you all. (Acts 3:9-16, ESV)
Reflecting and Thinking
The impact of this miracle on the new community must have been astounding. People who were not aware of recent events must have taken note. Peter saw the occasion as a preaching opportunity, affirming Jesus as the Christ, the power by which the healing had occurred. The miracle declared God's existence; it also revealed how God's plan was being fulfilled in the good news of Jesus. Most of the chapter tells about Peter's sermon. The main point of Peter's sermon is the resurrection of the dead in Jesus. The words recorded in Acts 3 are only a summary, and seem to end abruptly. As the next chapter begins, we learn that Peter and John were interrupted by the Jewish leaders.
How many people would believe if they saw a miracle? Would everyone believe? Why would some possibly not believe? Why do you believe (or not believe?) On a scale of 1 to 10, how good would you say the good news is for you?
Dear God, we marvel that on some days the good news doesn't seem all that good to us. We marvel that we can be so nonchalant and uninvolved-even part of the time. We sometimes think that more visible activity and evidence of your presence would convince us, but we are not sure even of that. Increase our faith. Help us see you in the world around us today. In Jesus' name, Amen.