Daily Bible Studies & Sermon Notes

Acts 3:13-16
Pastor Steve Schell
Sunday: Acts 3:13
v13: Peter quickly points the crowd to the real Source of the miracle. He and John personally possessed no such power, nor lived so righteously they could perform miracles at will. It was the God of Israel who had done this, and He did it for a very specific reason: To glorify “His servant Jesus” (Mt 12:18-21; Isa 41:1-3). Peter leaves no doubt about the Source of the miracle, it was “the God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers….” In other words, this was done by the very God in whose temple they were standing, the One whom they had come to call upon for mercy at the evening sacrifice. And He had done it to honor Jesus, to prove to the nation how wrong they had been to reject their Messiah.

Monday: Acts 3:13-15
v13 (continued): Instead of honoring Jesus, the nation had handed Him over to the Romans to be executed. Loudly and publicly they had said “no!” to His claim to be their Messiah at His trial before Pilate, the Roman governor. v14: In a terrible miscarriage of justice they asked Pilate to show grace to a murderer but refused his offer to release God’s “Holy and Righteous One” (Mt 27:15-26; Ps 16:10; Isa 53:11; Lk 4:34). v15: Then Peter confronts them with a terrible irony: “…you killed the Author (the original source) of life.” Such a statement is remarkable in its clarity.

Tuesday: Acts 3:15
v15: (continued): First, by calling Jesus the “Author of life” (Heb 2:10; 12:2) he declared Him to be the divine One who breathed life into Adam’s nostrils (Ge 2:7), and second, by acknowledging He genuinely died on the cross, he declared Him to be fully human. This statement shows us that Peter grasped the mystery of the incarnation and was not at all hesitant to confront his Jewish audience with it. He told them that God’s divine Son, the One who breathed life into all living beings, had become a mortal man, and that they had killed Him. But then he added that God the Father had raised Him from the dead, a miracle to which “we are witnesses.”

Wednesday: Acts 3:15
v15 (continued): We shouldn’t overlook the fact that when Peter and the disciples stood in front of these large crowds boldly declaring they had seen Jesus alive with their own eyes (Ac 2:32; 4:33; 5:32; 10:39-41), no one laughed or called them liars, nor did anyone produce His dead body to prove them wrong. Luke already showed us the crowds could contain people capable of mockery (Ac 2:13), but in these early days of the church, the only serious opposition he reports came from senior religious leaders (Ac 4:1, 2). The Jewish people themselves seem respectful and interested.

Thursday: Acts 3:16
v16: There was a very important human response in the midst of this miracle. The lame man had not been passive, he had responded in faith. Peter says, “…and upon faith in His name this man whom you see and know was made strong (his legs “made firm” so he could stand)….” Again Luke places the preposition “upon” (epi) where the preposition “in” (en) would be expected (see comments on v38), and again he does this in order to draw our attention back to Joel’s promise that “…everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Ac 2:21). The point he is making is this: Just as it is possible to call upon the name of the Lord to be saved from our sins, so it is also possible to call upon His name to be saved from sickness (or in this case physical injury or congenital defect). At some moment in the process, probably when Peter said, “In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, walk!” the man dared to call on God to heal him and was confident that He would.

Friday: Acts 3:16
v16 (continued): Peter added a further explanation. He told the crowd that it was Jesus’ name and the man’s faith, namely “that faith which is through Him, which gave him this soundness which you see here in front of you.” In other words, the man’s healing was the result of a combination of two things. First, came a speaking of a command in Jesus’ name. The apostles spoke the words, “In the name of Jesus Christ, the Nazarene, walk!” (v6) at Jesus’ direction (He told them to do this), and when they did they were relying upon His authority, not their own. And second, the lame man himself had exercised faith in that moment by believing that Jesus had such authority. In that moment he had called on the name of the Lord believing that Jesus was the crucified and resurrected Messiah, he trusted Jesus to save him from his sins and his infirmity.

Saturday: Acts 3:16
v16 (continued): Peter’s use of the phrase “faith which is through Him…” pictures a person passing through Jesus on His way to the Father’s throne. This picture fits perfectly with the admonition in Hebrews, “Since… we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, let us draw near…” (Heb 10:19-22). The man dared to believe God would heal him because of what Jesus had done for him. He chose to believe that Jesus’ death atoned his sins. He chose to believe Jesus had not remained in the grave but was the resurrected Messiah. Remember, the man unquestionably knew some things about Jesus of Nazareth. He had likely seen Him preaching and healing in the temple. And because he lived in Jerusalem he certainly knew He had been crucified, and it’s also likely he heard that some were saying Jesus had come back to life. After all, the apostles were preaching it in the temple day after day. How could he have missed it? So when Peter spoke Jesus’ name, and seized his hand, it was with some level of understanding that this man chose to believe that he could come to God through Jesus… and when he did the power of God shot through him.

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