The Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Acts 3:1-16

God Has Glorified His Servant Jesus

Here we have the first recorded healing by the apostles after Pentecost.  The account itself need not detain us for long.  A lame man was laid at the gate called Beautiful at the temple each day to beg alms.  This marks a startling contrast to the description we just read at the end of chapter two in which the believers were selling houses and lands and laying the proceeds at the apostles’ feet for distribution so that no one would be needy among the Church of Jesus Christ.  We read in the Law that the ancient Israelite tribes divided the land according to lot and that each clan and family was to have their share among that tribe (Numbers 26:52-56; Joshua 13-21).  Furthermore, every fifty years, a year of Jubilee was to be observed in which those who had lost their land due to misfortune or financial hardship were to receive it back again (Leviticus 25, 27).  Of course, over the centuries of conquest, the Jewish state in the time of Jesus and the apostles was a shell of its former glory and were under Roman occupation.  But the contrast still holds: the Law and the prophets stipulated equity and, I suppose like us, the Jewish state was a far cry from that in the first century.  At any rate, Peter, having gained the poor man’s attention gives him what he does have, which has nothing to do with silver and gold but is much better.

As the people run together to see this lame man now “walking and leaping and praising God,” Peter addresses them.  He assures them that this man’s healing had nothing to do with them but everything to do with Christ.  He says, “The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified his servant Jesus.”  Please note that by addressing the people by referring to the God of their fathers and making it clear that Jesus is His servant, Peter also claims that Jesus was theirs as well; that is, Jesus didn’t just come down from any god or out of thin air, but from their God, the only God, and to his own people (John 1:11).  Now the bad news is that they chose a murderer over the “Author of life,” a huge statement from Peter at this early point showing that the apostles did not simply understand Jesus to be the Messiah but also understood him to be the divine Son of God from the very beginning.  But though they killed him, God raised him up (again showing the emphasis of the earliest apostolic preaching being on the resurrection), and it is by faith in this name, this divine name, Jesus, that the man before them was “in perfect health.”  So when he rose, he rose doing what he had done before, only now through the apostles.  God was glorifying his servant, Jesus, before their very eyes; He still does if we will only open our eyes to see.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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