“While he (the lame beggar) 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. And now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers. But what God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that His Christ would suffer, He thus fulfilled. Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets long ago.'” (Acts 3:11-21 ESV)
Can you imagine this scene?
The crowd, astonished at seeing the lame man’s full recovery, pressed Peter for some answers. Peter obliges—with both barrels.
“Oh. My. TMI, Peter,” the crowd mutters, recoiling from the apostle’s point-blank remarks. “All we wanted to know was what had happened to him” (see Acts 3:10b).
Instead, Peter’s history lesson, peppered with one-two punches, goes back to the time of Abraham. He tells the crowd how they delivered Jesus to the authorities, how they denied the “Holy and Righteous One,” how they “killed the Author of life.”
“Sorry, we asked,” the crowd moaned, slinking back off Solomon’s Portico where they were all gathered.
The truth hurts, but Peter had no intention of leaving them there, twisting in the wind for their sins of involvement. Instead, he says that though the guilty parties acted in ignorance, God’s divine purposes were still accomplished. His ancient prophecies were fulfilled in Jesus’ suffering and dying for their sin—and ours—and it was He “whom God raised from the dead.”
And then Peter speaks of mercy, of recovery, even for those guilty of this—crucifying the Son of God. “Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.”
Though shell-shocked, here was relief at last for the crowd. At Peter’s words, hopefully they perked up—at least those who stayed to hear the Good News.
Of course, we are guilty, too, aren’t we—and in need of this same Good News? May God’s Spirit move us to repentance and to receiving in faith the forgiveness won for us through Jesus’ blood.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for Jesus and for His servants who spoke the Word boldly. In Jesus’ Name we pray. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Paul Schreiber.
Republished with permission from Lutheran Hour Ministries
1. When was the last time you were given too much information about something?
2. What guaranty did Peter have that the crowd wasn’t going to turn on him for what he said?
3. Are we complicit, two thousand years later, in the evils Peter lists the crowd as doing?