Key Texts: Acts 3:12-19
When Peter saw it, he addressed the people, “You Israelites, why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we had made him walk?
The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our ancestors has glorified his servant Jesus, whom you handed over and rejected in the presence of Pilate, though he had decided to release him.
But you rejected the Holy and Righteous One and asked to have a murderer given to you, and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses.
And by faith in his name, his name itself has made this man strong, whom you see and know; and the faith that is through Jesus has given him this perfect health in the presence of all of you.
And now, friends, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers. In this way God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, that his Messiah would suffer.
Repent therefore, and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out,”
It’s nothing new: God does something amazing, and some just stand back and scratch their heads in wonder.
It’s also not new that when God does something miraculous there are plenty who either
- Attribute it to some extraordinary human action or
- Attribute it to some other “natural” cause, easily explained.
The world of faith leaves no room for this.
Peter had it right.
I am sure that Peter and the other apostles were perfectly capable of making a distinction in their mind as to what they did under their own steam – and what God did miraculously.
I am sure that they had no problem with saying they often acted as any other normal, frail, infallible human beings did – for better or worse. Peter, of all men, would understand this. He had done some noble and extraordinary things as a man. He had also done some terrible things – the worst of which was denying and betraying his Lord during his darkest hour.
I am also sure that Peter was clear – crystal clear – in his mind and in his testimony about all that God was doing to usher in the kingdom, just as Jesus had promised.
Years later, we should stand on those same, sure-footed legs of faith.
We can do extraordinary, powerful things for the kingdom of God, in the name of Christ.
We can bring healing, and wholeness, and “the peace that passes all understanding.”
We do not do it on our own. We do it by freely placing at God’s disposal all that we are and all that we have – and God takes it from there and when, by God’s grace something miraculously wonderful happens – we must do what Peter did.
We must ask those who marvel:
“Why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we did this?”
To God be the glory.