Acts 3:12-19 NIV
Adapted from Sermon Writer
The context for this text goes back to the Gospel of Luke (Luke wrote both the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles). In his Gospel, Luke tells about:
• The chief priests and scribes “how they might put him to death” (Luke 22:2).
• Judas’ betrayal and Jesus arrest (Luke 22:47-53).
• Peter’s denial (Luke 22:54-62).
• The mocking and beating of Jesus (Luke 22:63-65).
• The council of the elders of the people who found Jesus guilty (Luke 22:66-70).
• Jesus’ trials before Pilate and Herod (Luke 23:1-12).
• The crowd’s choosing Barabbas rather than Jesus (Luke 23:13-25).
• The crucifixion (Luke 23:26-49).
Then he tells about the resurrection (Luke 24:1-12)––and Jesus’ appearance to two men on the road to Emmaus and to the gathered disciples (Luke 24:13-49) – and Jesus’ ascension (Luke 24:50-53; Acts 1:6-11).
In these accounts, Luke points a finger at a number of people who failed Jesus: Judas, absolutely, but Peter as well––the chief priests and elders, but also the
crowd––Pilate, of course, and also Herod. The Roman soldiers carried out the execution and joined in the mocking (Luke 23:36), as did the one of the thieves
who was crucified with Jesus (23:39). In other words, when Jesus was crucified, many hands were bloodied. Their guilt forms the background for this text.
Luke then tells the Pentecost story (Acts 2), where Peter tells the assembled crowd about Jesus and then says, “Him, being delivered up by the determined
counsel and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by the hand of lawless men, crucified and killed” (2:23).
There are several common elements between Peter’s sermon at Pentecost and his sermon at
• The address. “You men of Judea” (Acts 2:14) and “You men of Israel” (3:12)
• Misconception.“For these aren’t drunken”(2:15) and“Why do you fasten your eyes on us”
• Reference to ancestors. David (2:25) and Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (3:13)
• Guilt. “crucified and killed” (Acts 2:23) and “But you denied…and killed” (3:14-15)
• Resurrection. “This Jesus God raised up” (2:32) and “whom God raised” (3:15)
• Glorification. “Exalted” (2:33) and “glorified” (3:13)
• Call to repentance. “Repent and be baptized” (2:38) and “Repent therefore” (3:19)
• Conversions. Three thousand at Pentecost (2:41) and five thousand here (4:4)
OUR MORE IMMEDIATE REVEAL is the healing of a man who was lame from birth (3:1-10). When Peter and John encountered this man in the temple, he thought that they would give him alms. Instead, Peter said, “Silver and gold have I none, but what I have, that I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, get up and walk!” (3:6).
Peter helped him up, and the man began “walking, leaping, and praising God” (3:8). “All the people” saw it (3:9) and” filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him” (3:10).
Then Luke reports, “As the lame man who was healed held on to Peter and John, all the people ran together to them in the porch that is called Solomon’s, greatly wondering” (3:11). Solomon’s Portico was a part of the Jerusalem temple where rabbis often conducted their teaching. Luke will mention Solomon’s Portico again in chapter five, when he tells of Jesus’ disciples carrying on a powerful healing ministry there.
Peter looks to making the people understand it was not them but Jesus, whose power has made this man walk!
ACTS 3:12. WHY DO YOU FASTEN YOUR EYES ON US?
When Peter saw it, he responded to the people, “You men of Israel, why do you marvel at this man? Why do you fasten your eyes on us, as though by our own power or godliness we had made him walk?
It is the healing of the lame man that has drawn this crowd and presented Peter with this opportunity to proclaim the risen Christ. The man had been lame from birth (3:2). They had seen him begging for alms at the gate of the temple every day for years, so his was a familiar face (3:2). There was no cure for someone born lame, so everyone understood that his condition was hopeless. But now they see this hopeless man “walking, leaping, and praising God” (3:8). “They recognised him…They were filled with wonder and amazement” (3:10). The crowd would naturally attribute this miraculous healing to Peter and John, the ones who “took him (the lame man) by the right hand, and raised him up” (3:7). But Peter’s first act is to correct that misconception. It was neither their power nor their piety that made it possible for the man to walk. In verse 16, he will tell them who was responsible––but first, he would preach them a sermon.
As we have come through the days of the death & resurrection of Christ;
- have you been strengthened?
- have been brave?
- where have you proclaimed the Gospel of Jesus as a Christian who knows and walks with Him?