The life and ministry of Peter. (Acts 3:1-26)
Miracles do have a part to play in Christianity. Peter had preached that Jesus was ‘accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs’ (2:22). The apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders among
the people (5:12). However, let us not make the mistake of thinking that all we need is a few miracles and people will come flocking to Jesus.
John 12:37 warns that even after witnessing the miracles performed by Jesus Himself, some people would not believe in Him. We are going to examine
three things from this Bible passage.
The miracle of the man (3:1-10)
He was born lame and due to his disability he had to be carried wherever
he went. He had never known anything different. It was a need he could
not cure himself. What a picture of the human race without Jesus. The
man was begging for life. He found a good spot for charity at the
Beautiful Gate of the Temple. His condition governed his life and he had
no option but to beg. He went where his friends put him and there was no
prospect of change.
No person can fulfil his or her potential without Christ. He will be frustrated.
This man began to live only when Jesus confronted him through Christians
who commanded him to walk. He who was outside the temple begging was
suddenly inside the temple bringing praise to God. He used to look to
people for help, but now he looked to God. The real miracle which
occurred in this man’s life reflects the truth that ‘if anyone is in Christ,
he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come’ (2 Corinthians 5:17).
The mighty name of Jesus Christ (3:12-26; 4:8-12)
Peter and John were quick to point out that this miracle had precious
little to do with them. When the astonished crowd came running they
said: ‘You may well be surprised if we fishermen from Galilee made this
man walk, but it was Jesus Who did it, not us.’ Peter’s testimony is clear in
Acts 3:16, ‘By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and
know was made strong.’ It was this name that the Sanhedrin opposed
(4:18). It was this name that the Christians prayed in (4:30).
A careful reading of this passage will show you that God glorified the
name of Jesus (3:13, 15). You will see man used the name of Jesus (3:6;
4:10). But most of all you will read that humankind needs the name of
Jesus. ‘Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under
heaven given to men by which we must be saved’ (Acts 4:12).
God is the author,
Christ is the agent and
man is the ambassador of salvation.
Everyone who calls on Jesus’ name will be saved. Forgiveness of sins is
given in His name. A person is washed, sanctified and justified in His
name. One day every knee will bow to His name. ‘Praise God that you bear
that name’ (1 Peter 4:16).
Man used by God
The man God uses is not an automaton or a superman but an ordinary man
who prays. If Peter and John had not been going to the prayer meeting
this miracle would not have happened. He sees the needs of others and
recognises an opportunity for witness. Peter took a step of faith himself
and he encouraged the man to take a step too. A walk is a succession of
steps strung together. Are you walking with God? Will you step out with
Him right now?
Discussion guide for ‘Stepping out for Jesus’
Bible reading Acts 3:1-26
1. John 12:37 reads, “Even after Jesus had done all these miraculous
signs in their presence, they still would not believe in Him”.
So, what place can miracles play in our witness today?
Refer also to Acts 2:22 and 5:12.
2. Who initiated the miraculous healing of the lame man, Acts 3:1-10?
3. Who would receive glory and praise through this man’s healing?
Compare the words in verses 8, 9, 13, with the testimony in verse
16. Compose one sentence using these ideas, one sentence that
captures the testimony of the healed man.
4. Answering their critics, Peter and John put their testimony a
different way in Acts 4:8-12. What have they added? Why?
5. Make some time to listen to God by yourself. What do you believe
God is calling you to be and to do? What is stopping you?