Summary: When Peter took the opportunity presented by the healing of the lame man in the Temple, he minced no words. There is a big mistake we can commit, but we can also turn from it and find forgiveness and rest.

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Passage: Acts 3:11-26

Intro: I got an email this week encouraging me to boycott Target stores. They have removed the word “Christmas” from their stores.

1. happening for years.

PP “Merry Christmas” fades out, replaced by “Happy Holidays” (what will they do when they discover Holiday is short for “Holy Days”

PP political cartoon about removing “In God We Trust”

2. no surprise, there will always be those who reject God in their personal lives and our national life.

3. but it’s an example of the big mistake.

4. this passage in Acts is a microcosm of the big mistake people tend to make.

5. earlier in chapter, Peter and John heal a man who had been lame for 40 years.

6. big crowd gathered, about the perpetuate “the big mistake”.

7. clearly, something in their demeanor caused Peter to caution them in v12, “don’t do it”!

8. then he launched into another sermon.

9. first one 3 minutes 4 seconds, this one is 2 minutes. But it was interrupted by the Jewish leaders.

10. but it got the point across. And it still does, because the big mistake is still being made today.

11. the good news? God’s response is bigger.

I. A Big Example of the Big Mistake

1. the last two months had been very exciting in Jerusalem

2. Passover with a controversial crucifixion, rumors of resurrection.

3. and then an event at Pentecost that had precipitated a huge faith movement

4. and now this: the miraculous and public healing of a well-known life-long disabled man.

5. Peter recognized the opportunity to bear witness to Jesus, and took it!

Il) saw a couple weeks ago in Acts 3:1-10 that Peter and John exhibited “spontaneous availability”. He didn’t even have a chance to prepare his Power Point!!

6. Peter quickly built a powerful case

Proving the Jews committed “the big mistake”

7. contrast could not be stronger between the behavior of the Jews and the perspective of God concerning Jesus Christ.

PP (Build the case for contrast on opposing sides of the slide)

8. the God of the Jews glorified Jesus

9. in Scripture, God the glorified one or the one who glorifies. Never man to man.

10. in contrast, the Jews did several things:

11. “handed him over”=a legal term for “turning someone over to authorities

12. “disowned him”=deny, strong implication of rejection, strengthened by Pilates offer to release.

13. God revealed His coming in Scripture, “Holy and Righteous One”

PP Isaiah 9:6

14. v14, released a murderer instead of Jesus.

Il) they would have released Hitler instead of Jesus.

15. “you killed the author of Life”, (“you” in emphatic position)

16. God raised Him from the dead.

Il) Antiques Roadshow, what someone has let go for 50 cents is shown to be worth $100,000

16. and now you are about to give the glory for this healing to us!!

17. the Jews of Jesus day, walking in the steps of their fathers, were perpetuating the Big Mistake.

18. they were not listening to God

19. so God’s response is terrible judgment, right?

II. God’s Bigger Response to the Big Mistake

1. Peters statement in v17 unique

2. “you and your leaders acted in ignorance.

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