Summary: I. It wasn't us - IT WAS JESUS! II. IT WAS JESUS - And by the Way - He was Innocent III. IT WAS JESUS - And by the Way - Jesus is Alive IV. IT WAS JESUS - And by the Way - He Opened the Door of Repentance and Forgiveness
Scripture: Acts 3:1 - 19 (cf. 11 - 19)
Sermon - It wasn't Us - IT WAS JESUS!
I. It wasn't us - IT WAS JESUS!
II. IT WAS JESUS - And by the Way - He was Innocent
III. IT WAS JESUS - And by the Way - Jesus is Alive
IV. IT WAS JESUS - And by the Way - He Opened the Door of Repentance and Forgiveness
Grace and peace from God our Father and from His Son Jesus Christ who came to take away the sins of the world!
"How did you do that?"
"How did you do something that no one else has been able to do before?"
"Is it true that you just went over to that lame man and took him by the hand, raised him up and suddenly he was able to walk again?"
"How in the world did you do that?"
"You said something to him before you raised him up didn't you?"
"What was it you said?"
"We thought we heard you call out a man's name, what man's name did you use?"
We can imagine all these and more questions like them were being asking by those who rushed towards Peter, John and the healed man that day in the Temple. The miracle had happened around the 3 PM Prayer time so the Temple would have been filled with people going back and forth from their times of prayer, study and meditation. They would have been praying for God to do something special in their lives and in the lives of those around them. The air would have been filled with adoration, confession, intercession and thanksgiving.
And then suddenly, something wonderful and marvelous actually happened. The little lame man that had spend most of his life lying in front of the Gate called Beautiful had been healed. Everyone around the Temple knew him or at least had seen him day after day. Some had even given him some money and had said a word or two of prayer for him while they were praying for themselves, their own family and the nation of Israel.
But here in front of them he was jumping around, dancing and praising the LORD. They knew it wasn't fake because they had seen him for years lying around begging for food and money. They knew that something extraordinary had happened to him and they just wanted to know all the details of how his healing came to pass. In other words, they wanted to know the "skinny" of how these two men had done something that no one else had ever done.
Again, it was that name that they wanted to hear about. That name that Peter had used before the man was healed. Did Peter really call on the name of that dead Jewish rabbi from Nazareth called Jesus? That young carpenter turned rabbi that a couple of months ago the Roman soldiers crucified on a cross? Now, how can a dead man's name heal someone; especially that dead man?
I mean there was this strange story about some dead man being thrown in a tomb that held the bones of the Prophet Elisha and he was brought back to life ( 2 Kings 13:21). But no one as far as they knew, no one had ever used the name of a dead man to heal someone. No one had used the name of Moses, Elijah, Isaiah or even Daniel. It especially didn't make sense to use the name of a dead man who had been condemned by both the Temple and the Roman Empire. How in the world could this happen? How could God have allowed it all to happen? What in the world was going on?
It is in the midst of all of this that Peter takes the time to get everyone's attention. He waits for everyone to get quiet and then he begins to share exactly what happened. Peter knew that God had done something radically unexpected and wonderful to give him and John the opportunity to speak. Peter knew that if there were ever a great time to tell about Jesus being the Messiah, Savior and LORD this was it. After, all everyone around was straining their necks and ears to hear what Peter had to say.
This morning, let's see what Peter and John had to say. And as we do so we will be drawn more to understand just how important Jesus' resurrection is and how important is for us to be a witness for Jesus in our world today.
I. It wasn't us - IT WAS JESUS!
Peter and John begin by telling everyone that this miracle wasn't about them or about their piety. It wasn't because they had some kind of special power or knew some special knowledge or insight. It had nothing to do with them. They were human beings just like them. They were simply ordinary human beings who had been fishermen and who had lived in and around the sea of Galilee.