The early church’s witness of Jesus necessarily began in Jerusalem, the city of David. Believers at this point still gathered in the temple (v. 1) but this would change over the years. This man who was lame from birth (v. 2) had to believe (exercise faith) in what Peter said about Jesus (vv. 6-7). The people thought this public miracle seen by all happened by Peter and John’s power (v. 12). Peter denied this, pointing instead to Jesus Israel’s promised Messiah (vv. 13-26). Israel’s prophets foretold that Jesus was their promised Prophet (vv. 22-23), had to suffer (v. 18), would rise from the dead (v. 26), ascend to heaven (v. 21), and would come again (vv. 20-21).
This miracle in and of itself did not result in conversions. Miracles were signs pointing those who saw it to a “destination”—they must recognize that those who spoke to them and what they said was from God. Miracles were very rare, happened quickly, and needed to be interpreted and explained (note that wrong conclusions were drawn, v. 12). The focus of Peter’s message was not on the miracle but Jesus Christ and the necessity of repentance (v. 19) and faith (v. 16).
Truths to Nail Down and Meditate On
- Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation—every soul must heed Christ. Have you? When you witness of Jesus to others, make sure you emphasize this, urging that they believe and repent now.
- God’s truth about Jesus Christ—not phenomenal experiences—must be the focus of faithful gospel ministry. Experiences will have different responses and interpretations, and are incapable of removing and rescuing one from sin (vv. 19, 26). In God’s truth you have everything you need for faithful, fruitful ministry.
- Christ’s second coming is essential to the gospel message because it is essential to who he is. Don’t let others saying its unessential doctrine sway you from believing and proclaiming it! It is essential!