Act 3:11-26 NASB - "11 While he was clinging to Peter and John, all the people ran together to them at the so-called portico of Solomon, full of amazement.
12 But when Peter saw this, he replied to the people, "Men of Israel, why are you amazed at this, or why do you gaze at us, as if by our own power or piety we had made him walk? 13 "The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified His servant Jesus, the one whom you delivered and disowned in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release Him. 14 "But you disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, 15 but put to death the Prince of life, the one whom God raised from the dead, a fact to which we are witnesses.
16 "And on the basis of faith in His name, it is the name of Jesus which has strengthened this man whom you see and know; and the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect health in the presence of you all. 17 "And now, brethren, I know that you acted in ignorance, just as your rulers did also. 18 "But the things which God announced beforehand by the mouth of all the prophets, that His Messiah would suffer, He has thus fulfilled.
19 "Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord; 20 and that He may send Jesus, the Messiah appointed for you, 21 whom heaven must receive until the period of restoration of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient time.
22 "Moses said, 'THE LORD GOD WILL RAISE UP FOR YOU A PROPHET LIKE ME FROM YOUR BRETHREN; TO HIM YOU SHALL GIVE HEED to everything He says to you. 23 'And it will be that every soul that does not heed that prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people.' 24 "And likewise, all the prophets who have spoken, from Samuel and his successors onward, also announced these days. 25 "It is you who are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant which God made with your fathers, saying to Abraham, 'AND IN YOUR SEED ALL THE FAMILIES OF THE EARTH SHALL BE BLESSED.' 26 "For you first, God raised up His Servant and sent Him to bless you by turning every one of you from your wicked ways.""
The message of the Apostle Peter and the early church is clear and when given in Jerusalem just a couple of months after the crucifixion of Messiah Jesus very convicting. The Apostle Peter points out that if they understood what God was doing in their midst they would not be amazed at the healing of the lame man in the name of the Messiah Jesus. God is showing His approval of the Lord Jesus who is the “servant of the Lord” found in Isaiah. This Holy Messiah they have put to death but God raised him from the dead as a sign that the Lord Jesus alone is God’s chosen way of salvation and restoration of Eden.
The Apostle Peter points to the current miracle and the resurrection as proof that Jesus is the Messiah. He also points out that the prophets predicted the Messiah would suffer (Isaiah 53). So they acted in ignorance of God’s prophetic plan thinking of the Messiah as only a great ruler who would banish the Romans. They need to change their mind about the Messiah Jesus from false prophet to God’s Holy and Righteous one and return to the God of Abraham by accepting the resurrected Lord Jesus as their Messiah.
No one can be saved or become a Christian without a change of mind, attitude, and direction. When we meet the Lord Jesus we get our heads and hearts turned around.
The repentance of the Jewish nation is one of the things that must occur before the restoration of all things under the Kingdom of the Messiah Jesus. All Israel must be saved in the last generation (Romans 11). So Peter is placing their revival and renewal in the context of God’s greater plan to impact the world with the gospel before the return of Messiah Jesus in the second coming.
The end of this message is very clear. To oppose the Messiah Jesus is sure destruction and to come under the wrath of God justly for our sins and rebellion. To repent and return to God by trusting in the Messiah Jesus is to be blessed. This will drive us towards God and away from sin with assurance that our sins will be wiped away and we will know the acceptance of God by HIS great grace.
How should we then live?
Many of us forget to look for what God is doing in our lives and in the bigger picture of the world. The gospel must be taken to all nations before the return of Messiah Jesus in glory (Matthew 24:1-11). There must be a revival of true Christian faith in the Middle East both among the Jews and Muslims before the restoration of all things will come (Isaiah 19:19-25).
Are we praying for the gospel to be taken to all nations, for conversions in the Middle East, and for the restoration of all things under the rule of Messiah Jesus? Is this even in our minds?
Are we seeing our faith in the Lord Jesus as our personal prophet, priest, and king as a commitment to turn from our sins and seek a deep personal relationship with God based on the Lord’s perfect sacrifice for our transgressions? Has our faith become stale, weak, and formal? What could we do to seek a revived, renewed, and regenerated faith? Would today be a good day for us to deepen our repentance and commitment to the Lord Jesus?
Peter’s message is the gospel. It is the story of God taking away the curse of the rebellion against God started in the garden to bring back to us Eden on steroids through the death, burial, and resurrection of the Messiah Jesus. It is the story of God saving the ungodly and rebellious out of mercy, grace and love. It is a true story that calls on us to have lives full of vibrant faith that transforms us as we think about the greatness and depth of HIS love for us in the Messiah Jesus’ sacrifice and resurrected life.
Lord, it is easy to forget your great purpose and plan in our day-to-day lives. We are consumed Lord by small matters and things. Help us to hear your grand plan revealed in the Messiah Jesus and lift us out of focus on mundane things to seek first your Kingdom and righteousness now that the Lord Jesus has paid for our sins. Make us a kingdom minded people Help our focus today be on our KING Jesus. Amen