Astonishment and Common Sense

I was just reading Acts 3 and I was amazed by Peter’s speech in Solomon’s Portico. Peter and John had just healed the lame beggar and the reaction of the onlookers was utter astonishment. Peter says that the crowd shouldn’t be astonished by them, as if they healed the man of their own power or piety, and goes on to say:

13 The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified his servant Jesus, whom you delivered over and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release him. 14 But you denied the Holy and Righteous One, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, 15 and you killed  the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses. 16 And his name—by faith in his name—has made this man strong whom you see and know, and the faith that is through Jesus has given the man this perfect health in the presence of you all.

Look at what Peter does in verses 14 & 15 by highlighting that they chose a murderer, i.e., one who takes life over the Author of life. A greater example of opposite extremes couldn’t be noted. But he does something else here as well in saying that not only did they choose a murderer; they were murderers! In other words, they wanted the one that was like them! But God gave back the life that they took. So it is through faith in the One who gives and was given life that healing comes. Another way to say it is that they shouldn’t be astonished that if they seek life they’ll receive it; that’s just common sense. The fact that they sought death and received it is what makes Peter’s call to repentance all the more powerful (vs. 19).  



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