Peter Speaks to the Onlookers

Now, fellow Israelites, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did your leaders. But this is how God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, saying that his Messiah would suffer. Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that he may send the Messiah, who has been appointed for you — even Jesus.
Acts 3:17-20

Reflections

In Acts, the “Action Book of the New Testament”, we are examining the events occasioned by the first miracle in the present age – the instantaneous healing of the lame man waiting by the Temple gate.  He asked for money, but Peter and John healed him in Jesus’ name!  This healing brought about wonder in the onlookers and opened an opportunity for Peter to speak with them.  It is the second evangelistic event recorded by Luke.

Peter was careful to point out that this healing was done by God, not by himself or John.  He gave God the glory for the healing.

As Peter spoke, he shared briefly about the events that recently took place in Jerusalem – events that these people likely were familiar with.  He told how the Jews, the Romans and these very people had abused and crucified Jesus.  He told them that all this had been prophesied long ago in their scriptures.  Then Peter declared that Jesus had risen from the dead and that he and John were there and saw it.  Finally, he told them what to do about what he was telling them.  “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord. . .” (Acts 3:19)

There were Jewish priests present as well as the captain of the Temple guard. They didn’t like what Peter and John were sharing about Jesus, but Acts 4:4 tells us that, “. . . many who heard the message believed and the number of men grew to about five thousand.” Apparently, there were thousands of people who were present and about 2,000 of them trusted in Jesus because of the way God used Peter’s message.

It is critical to note that Peter seized the opportunity afforded by the curiosity of the people at the Temple that day!  He told them the truth about what had recently happened to Jesus in Jerusalem, he told them how this had been predicted by their prophets.  But he didn’t stop there.  He shared with the people what to do about it.  In short, he evangelized them!

All “seasoned” Christians, I believe, are assigned the “job” of spreading the gospel, so people can be saved, and creating venues in which new Christians can grow and learn.  We can learn from this true account of Peter and John at the Temple.  We should be looking for opportunities that can lead to Gospel conversations or presentations so that people can hear the Good News that God will forgive their sins and give them eternal life and joy and peace forever.  God can give us opportunities to share with thousands or just one person at a time, but if we are willing and a-tuned to such opportunities, He will use us for His glory.

Written by Julia Pannell
President of Friends of Memorial Lane

Questions

Are you willing to be used by God to tell people about Jesus and how they can be saved?

What opportunities have you had to share Jesus?

What opportunities have you missed?

Do you know how to share a testimony of how Jesus saved you?

Let's Pray

Father,
Thank You that I am a Christian and part of the family of God. Thank You that Jesus died and rose again to save me from my sin. I pray that I may never be ashamed of the gospel of Christ or the Name of Jesus but be prepared to live by faith and trust You in all things – no matter what difficult circumstances may arise. Father, fill me with your Holy Spirit and push us out as faithful workers in your harvest field actively seeking to share Jesus with as many people as possible. Father, hear our prayers for mercy and forgiveness.
Amen and amen

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