Lent 2009 – 27 Steps to the Cross

PeterSteps While the beggar held on to Peter and John, all the people were astonished and came running to them in the place called Solomon’s Colonnade. When Peter saw this, he said to them: “Men of Israel, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus. You handed him over to be killed, and you disowned him before Pilate, though he had decided to let him go. You disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you. You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this. By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has given this complete healing to him, as you can all see. (Acts 3:11-16)

Though it might have been momentarily tempting to claim the glory for healing the beggar, the Spirit in Peter guided him otherwise. He deflected to the accolades and pointed to the true source of power, Jesus Christ. In writing and in speech, we have heard reference to ‘mighty men of God’ and how powerfully the Lord has used men and women to accomplish various miraculous feats. It is easy for our culturally trained minds to hear Reverend So and So or Evangelist so and so were used by God to do this or that and associate the accomplishment with those men or women. We must take a more humble view and reread or relisten to what is said: they were used by God in His power to accomplish His will. They were merely vehicles. Peter is careful here to remind Israel that he too was just the vehicle, that is was the matchless name of Jesus that healed the beggar. It was the God who quickened Jesus and restored Him to life despite the sin of those who had put Him in the tomb and it was this same God who had healed the beggar. Israel, in her sin needed to meditate deeply on this act of Grace.

Is grace clear in your mind today?

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