Read - Acts 3.11-26
Message - Scott Woodburn
As news spread that the lame beggar had been healed, a crowd ran to meet Peter and John (v11). Miracle workers always gather a crowd and many of them make their fortune by filling stadia and auditoriums around the world. But Peter and John didn't have white suits or perfect teeth, instead Peter addressed the gathering crowd to make sure they understood what was going on (v12).
Peter stressed that this man had been healed by Almighty God (v16) and not because Peter and John had miracle working power (v12b). Indeed he further stressed that it had nothing to do with their piety either. In other words Peter and John healed this man by the power of God and not because they were some sort of super Christians. With that message underlined Peter immediately turns to the Gospel.
Please note once more that the miracle of this man's healing wasn't to put on a good show or fill a stadium nor to make a service of worship more exciting. The healing of this man was a wonder and a sure sign that the Gospel was true and so Peter proceeds straight to the Gospel. The God of Abraham glorified Jesus (v13) who was delivered over to Pilate. The Jews could have had Christ released but instead asked for a murderer in Jesus' place (v14). Jesus who was the author of life (v15), the One who had made all things, was put to death but soon raised from the grave (v15b).
How was the lame beggar healed? By Jesus (v16). He had trusted in Christ who had caused him to stand again physically and spiritually. The beggar's new strength was miraculous but even more so was that a spiritually dead man was now alive. All of this done by Christ.
The crowd had rushed to see the brand new miracle workers and were instead confronted by the Gospel. They received much more than a good show, they received the word of life. Christ has fulfilled what was promised by the prophets (v18) and now it was time for the people to respond with repentance and faith (v19). If they would do so their sins would be blotted out.
Peter is sure that Jesus is the prophet spoken of by Moses (v22-23) and Samuel and the other prophets (v24). The covenant of grace had been made with Abraham (v25) and fulfilled in Christ and He has come to turn us all from our wickedness (v26).
I'm sure Peter and John left many disappointed that day. The crowd wanted lame beggars walking not a message of Christ who had died in weakness, after all what's better than a lame beggar walking? Greater than the greatest wonder is the Gospel. It is worth more than silver or gold. It has power to raise the dead to life. It is a message of grace and salvation. Christians - cherish the Gospel! Everyone else - believe it!
Q72 What is forbidden in the seventh commandment? The seventh commandment forbiddeth all unchaste thoughts, words, and actions.