Year B – Easter 3 – Acts 3:12-19

Text – 12 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? 13 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. 14 But you rejected the Holy and Righteous One and asked to have a murderer given to you, 15 and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses. 16 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. 17 “And now, friends, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers. 18 In this way God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, that his Messiah would suffer. 19 Repent therefore, and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out

Summary – This story took place in some of the earliest time of the New Testament church. Peter and John, were going up to the temple for their time of prayer (vrs 3:1). There was a man who was not able to walk and could only get money by begging to those who went up into the temple. Peter healed the man, in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, and the man started jumping around and singing praises to God. Of course this called attention to Peter, who used this attention to preach, and this sermon is the text that was read today. Peter began by asking them why they were amazed at this small miracle, and why they thought that Peter had his own special powers. Peter then told them how God had glorified his Son, Jesus. He told those listening that they delivered him over to be killed, but that God had raised him from the dead. It was only in the name of the resurrected Jesus that the lame man was healed, not by Peter’s own power. Peter calls them to repent of their sins, believe in this Christ, and your sins will be blotted out.

Insight – Imagine that every time you went to church, there was a man in a wheelchair asking everyone for money. This happened every week for years, and maybe you even looked forward to giving him a quarter each week. Then one day you go to give him your quarter, and he is jumping around the church parking lot. What would you think happened? Would you assume the person that healed him had special powers? Peter preached this sermon to show that the power to heal the lame man came not from himself, but rather from Jesus, who he said is the Author of Life. Jesus is the one that gives life and life abundantly. And it was this same Jesus that a short while earlier, these people had put to death. But Jesus did not stay in the grave, and is now glorified and sitting at the right hand of the Father. It is faith in his name that healed the lame man. If we think about it we are all crippled. Without Christ we are dead in our sin. But if we repent of our sins, and believe on the name of Christ, then Christ will give us new life, and like this lame man, we will be filled with joy and praises to God.

Catechism – Did Peter heal by his own Power? – No but only by faith in Jesus Christ, the Author of Life.

Discussion – How does the fact that it was Jesus who ultimately healed the lame man give you comfort today? After Jesus ascended, did he leave us by ourselves? Does your joy of salvation ever make other people curious, and give you an opportunity to talk about Jesus?

Prayer – God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we give you thanks that you provided a way to blot out our sins through the death of your Son, the Author of Life. Help us to turn from our sins, believe in the name of Jesus. Let our lives be filled with joy and praise, so that others will take notice, and join us in your kingdom. We ask this in the name of your Son, Amen.

contributed by Jared McNabb