Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.
The Scriptorium

Big Deal? Big Deal!

What we need to know to be saved. Acts 3.11-16

The Kingdom among Us: Acts 3 (4)

Pray Psalm 145.1-3.
I will extol You, my God, O King;
And I will bless Your name forever and ever.
Every day I will bless You,
And I will praise Your name forever and ever.
Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised;
And His greatness is unsearchable.

Sing Psalm 145.1-3.
(Brother James’ Air: The Lord’s My Shepherd, I’ll Not Want)
I will extol You, God, my King, and ever praise Your Name!
I bless You, Lord, for everything each day, and e’er the same!
Great are You, Lord, my praise I bring; unsearchable Your fame!

Read Acts 3.1-16; meditate on verses 11-16.

Preparation

1. How did Peter explain this man’s healing?

2. What was not responsible for his healing?

Meditation
Peter is almost too cool here as he seems to be saying to the astonished people, “What’s the big deal? What’d you expect, what with Jesus rising from the dead and all? Isn’t this just the same thing He did, and which He now continues to do?” A new reality has broken into human experience, and the apostles get it, while the crowds can only look on in amazement. The Good News is about God and what He is doing, not about men or anything they might accomplish.

Peter comforts his hearers: You sinners! You murderers! You who prefer the scum of the earth to the Messiah of God! That ought to get their attention. Then look at the lovely, powerful way Peter connects Jesus with God’s covenant, and the Holy and Righteous One glimpsed and anticipated throughout the Old Testament. He was here, Peter says. You killed Him. God raised Him up. This man walks by the power of His Name. What’s the big deal?

Of course, the Kingdom of God is a big deal – the big deal, we should say. It’s the new reality in the world, even though most of the world remains out of sync with the ongoing work of Christ. It’s just a matter of time, though – time and faithfulness on our parts. The Kingdom of God comes with power, which is making all things new. Christians must neither fear nor neglect that power. Rather, we should seek it like the apostles did in Acts 1, proclaim it like Peter did in Acts 2, and wield it like Peter and John in Acts 3.

That day in the temple, no one who was present doubted that something new, wonderful, and amazing had happened. And it was neither magic nor the result of some cleverly-organized, big-skill-set effort on the part of some local church. Just two guys being Jesus to their world (Acts 1.8).

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
Peter and John gave the perfect response to worldly acclaim.
Turn your eyes away from us, and look to Jesus.
He is the source of all power for goodness and life.

“Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us,
but to Your name give glory,
because of Your mercy,
because of Your truth.
Why should the Gentiles say,
‘So where is their God?’
But our God is in heaven;
He does whatever He pleases.” (Ps. 115.1-3)

Peter then abruptly turns their eyes onto themselves. Yes, he says to them, you killed Jesus by delivering Him up and denying His release. Hear me now he says, “you denied the Holy One and the Just, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, and killed the Prince of life…” (Acts 3.13).

Peter never lets anyone forget, nor should we, that there is much bad news to go along with the best Good News ever. Unless they, and we, and others realize the depth of our sins and our extreme need to be saved from the wrath of God, we will never properly appreciate the need for, and the gift of, forgiveness and life that has been lavished upon us.

A denial of dirt doubts the need for soap.
“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins
and to cleanse of from all unrighteousness.
If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar,
and His word is not in us” (I Jn. 1.8-10).

When the need for a Savior is proclaimed, all eyes are on Him. And He never fails (1 Cor. 13.8).
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him” (Rom. 5.8, 9).

And that is a very big deal!

For reflection
1. What is the “bad news” people need to know about themselves?

2. How does Jesus deal with this “bad news”?

3. What will “being Jesus” in your world require of you today?
 
Peter pointed to the healing of the beggar as a sign of the glorification of Christ. The people had handed Jesus over to Pilate to be crucified. Yet God had raised the crucified Jesus from the dead. It was in the name of this very same Jesus that the crippled man was healed. Earl Radmacher (1931-2014), NKJV Study Bible Note on Acts 3.13-16

Pray Psalm 145.13-21.

Thank God that His Kingdom has come and is coming more and more every day. Ask Him to lead you today as a Kingdom ambassador for righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit (Rom. 14.17, 18).

Sing Psalm 145.13-21.
(Brother James’ Air: The Lord’s My Shepherd, I’ll Not Want)
Your Kingdom evermore shall be; You reign forever, Lord!
Your works You do so faithfully, according to Your Word.
The falling You uphold and the oppressed You rescue, Lord!

The eyes of all look up to You to meet our needs each day.
Open Your hand, provide the food we need, O Lord, we pray!
Kindness and righteousness You do, O Lord, in every way!

Be near to all who call on You; all those who fear You, bless.
Preserve all those whose love is true; save us in our distress.
Our mouths will speak with praise of You; Your holy Name we bless!

T. M. and Susie Moore

You can listen to a summary of last week’s Scriptorium study by going to our website, www.ailbe.org, and clicking theScriptorium tab for last Sunday. For more about what Jesus is doing at the right hand of God, order a free copy of our book, What in Heaven Is Jesus Doing on Earth? (click here).

You can download any or all of the studies in this series on Acts by clicking here.

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Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (Williston: Waxed Tablet Publications, 2006), available by clicking here.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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