They marveled: Devotional Commentary for May 30-June 5
This is the Word of God. May the Spirit of Truth give us wisdom and insight to receive what has been conveyed through His Word by His Inspiration.
3:11 Now as the lame man who was healed held on to Peter and John, all the people ran together to them in the porch which is called Solomon's, greatly amazed.
The news of the healing of the crippled man rapidly spread around the city. Everyone rushed to the temple courtyard and found the man staying close by Peter and John. As more people heard about what was going on, a much larger crowd hastened toward the scene to observe the miracle in person. The crowd gathered at Solomon’s Porch, a long colonnade that bordered the east side of the temple complex.
As news of the miracle spread, the excitement among the people also grew. The man was known to the people as the crippled man who sat at the Beautiful Gate begging for alms. He never walked a day in his life. But now they see him walking, jumping, and praising the Lord for the miracle that took place in his life. The people were greatly amazed. They could not believe what they witnessed. So they gathered at the temple around Peter, John, and the healed man for some commonsense explanation.
12So when Peter saw it, he responded to the people: Men of Israel, why do you marvel at this? Or why look so intently at us, as though by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk?
13The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified His Servant Jesus, Whom you delivered up and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let Him go.
14But you denied the Holy One and the Just, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you,
15and killed the Prince of life, whom God raised from the dead, of which we are witnesses.
16And His name, through faith in His name, has made this man strong, whom you see and know. Yes, the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.
Peter seized the occasion and took the opportunity to speak to the people as he watched the multitude explode into a sizeable crowd. Addressing them as "Men of Israel", Peter went straight to the crux of the matter. What was it that the people found so amazing? Were they watching the man who had been freed from his crippling condition? Or, were they looking at Peter and John as though they were some kind of miracle workers on their own?
First, there should be nothing amazing about the man or the miracle in as much as Jesus' works were a matter of recent memory to the people. Most of them knew about Jesus before His death and were familiar with the things He did in their midst. Certainly, this event was supernatural. But for the Man from Nazareth, miracles are natural. He spoke, and the storm was silenced. He commanded a dead man, and Lazarus walked out of the grave after being dead for four days.
The healing of this crippled man was just another evidence of God’s love and compassion for the lost and hurting. It was another event that brought glory to the Name of the Lord and revealed His Power at work. More importantly, there was nothing in the character or theology of Peter and John that could have generated the miracle. They had no special gift or power of their own apart from God's Power in them.
The God of the Bible, the God of the Jews, the God that the people claimed to worship, the God of their ancestors did something spectacular among His chosen people. He sent His Son to His own and glorified Him in their midst even though they rejected Him. This was the same Jesus they handed over to Pilate. In the presence of that Gentile ruler, they defiantly rejected this Jesus, even though Pilate found no guilt in Him worthy of execution. In fact, Pilate decided to set Jesus free after he thoroughly interrogated Him and determined Him to be innocent of the charges brought against Him.
Peter spoke of Jesus as the servant of God. His reference of Jesus as servant signifies Jesus' surrender to His Father's Will as the sacrificial Lamb Who was quietly taken to Calvary to bear our griefs, to carry our sorrows, to be wounded for our transgressions, to be bruised for our iniquities and shoulder God's chastisement for our peace. He served God's redemptive Purpose. Peter further told the crowd that the same humble Lamb of God is also the Holy, Just, and Righteous Son of God Who came to earth to do His Father's Will and to make Him known.
Peter candidly acknowledged what the people did to Jesus. They wanted nothing to do with Him. They had Him crucified like a common criminal. They preferred a hardened criminal to Jesus.
Nevertheless, in spite of the evil intentions of His enemies, God raised His Son Jesus from the dead. He did not remain in the grave as His enemies had hoped. Jesus was sent to save the lost from sin through His Death, Burial, and Resurrection. God's plan of redemption prevailed and Peter and the Disciples were eyewitnesses of the risen Lord.
Peter openly and courageously declared to the surprised crowd that the healing they witnessed was accomplished by the Power of the Name of Jesus Whom they rejected and crucified. Jesus, and Jesus alone, healed the man. For man, this would be impossible. But with God, nothing is impossible.
When Peter and John supposedly healed the man who had been crippled from birth, it created quite a stir among the crowd. Their excitement—the mixed emotions of wonder and doubt—was palpable. If we witnessed such a miracle in our time and day, we would react the same way.
However, when Peter answered the people’s questions, he admonished their sense of amazement as well as their tendency to look at him as though he were someone special with something special in him. The people tended to lift Peter and John to some false pedestal of worship because they thought the crippled man was healed by them. That was not true.
It was Jesus Who healed the man with His Power in Peter and John. Peter and John were simply the vessels who communicated God’s healing to the man in the Name of Jesus and helped him stand up. But the people did not see this. They only saw Peter and John, not the Power in them. They failed to look beyond the physical circumstances they were watching. They did not realize that they were in the very presence of God working through Peter and John, His servants.
Peter reminded the people of everything they did to Jesus. The Jesus Who healed the man. But those hostile attitudes and actions served God's Purpose of redemption. They accomplished God's will to bring salvation to the lost human race. God brought Jesus back to life and glorified His Name in all the earth and in heaven above. Through His Name and the power of His word we are healed and our crippled lives are restored to fellowship with the One Who has created and redeemed us. So, taking our cue from Peter, we declare: by His stripes, we are healed.