Extraordinary Opportunity

11 While he clung to Peter and John, all the people, utterly astounded, ran together to them in the portico called Solomon’s. 12 And when Peter saw it he addressed the people: “Men of Israel, why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we have made him walk? 13 The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified his servant Jesus, whom you delivered over and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release him. 14 But you denied the Holy and Righteous One, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, 15 and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses. 16 And his name—by faith in his name—has made this man strong whom you see and know, and the faith that is through Jesus has given the man this perfect health in the presence of you all.

17 “And now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers. 18 But what God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ would suffer, he thus fulfilled. 19 Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, 20 that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, 21 whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago.[1]

 

Today, we continue the story of the healing of the lame man.  Did you ever notice that every healing recorded in the New Testament takes place outside of the regular gathering of the church?  This of course is not to say that healings did not occur at these regular gatherings, but it is curious that God through his Holy Spirit by way of Luke only records the healings that took place in the ‘marketplace?’

Now, we have the first detailed healing recorded in the book of Acts and we can begin to see that there is going to be two purposes of God healing in this fashion; first of all, he cares about our physical condition and perhaps equally important, God wants to be glorified.  Peter wasn’t going to miss this opportunity to witness to the resurrection of Jesus.  The crowd, being astounded rushed to them, partly being astounded and partly out of curiosity.  And behold, we see Peter lifting up his voice to speak of this healing, just as he did when the sign of tongues occurred at Pentecost.  Notice if you will that Peter once again refuses adulation from the crowd and is quick to point to God as the source of the healing.  However, Peter also proclaims the Gospel to the crowd and calls them to repentance.

Repeatedly, in the book of Acts we continue to see this Centrifugal force Jesus indicated would happen as we are his witnesses, filled with the Holy Spirit.  The end result of this healing in the market place was an opportunity to proclaim the gospel.  Peter and John weren’t advertising a healing campaign and inviting people to come to that event.  They were on their way to an ordinary event in their schedule, when they were simply sensitive to the Spirit’s leading to see this man healed.

What would happen if every Christian, after meeting together on Sunday would go into their ordinary week with this kind of sensitivity?  I wonder how many opportunities we might have to proclaim the good news?  Let’s dare to give it a try!


[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). (Ac 3:11–21). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

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