WEDNESDAY, APRIL 11
This is where authoritative prayer in Jesus’ name, and the faith that comes through Him, is modelled for us to follow
12 When Peter saw this, he said to them: “Fellow Israelites, 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?
13 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.
Peter’s message explains the healing of the lifelong cripple at the Beautiful Gate by discounting who he is, and setting out plainly who Jesus is.
“The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob… His Servant Jesus” – Peter names Jesus as the Servant of Isaiah 42-53 and particularly Isaiah 52:13 before his Jewish audience.
14 You disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you.
15 You killed the author of life, but God raised Him from the dead. We are witnesses of this.
Following the mention of the Servant of Isaiah, this passage introduces three significant names of Jesus: ‘Holy One’, ‘Righteous One’ and ‘Author of Life’. (In v.22 further on from this passage there is a fourth, ‘Prophet like Moses’.)
It was incomprehensible to the Jewish mind that the author of life, i.e. God Himself, could be killed.
16 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 completely healed him, as you can all see.
The Name was a way that Jewish piety could speak of God without naming God – something they felt was improper. The Name of God, the Name of Jesus, the Name… the languages makes the point that Jesus is God.
The man was healed by Jesus’ name, and by the faith that comes through Jesus. The Name of Jesus is an invocation of Jesus Himself – in effect, Peter’s words become Jesus’ words. The faith was either the faith of the man himself – who later praised God for his restoration – or the faith of Peter, or both.
17 “Now, fellow Israelites, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did your leaders. 18 But this is how God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, saying that his Messiah would suffer.
This is remarkable for Peter’s conciliatory attitude to his fellow Jews and especially their leaders. He even tells them that their actions allowed God’s purpose to be fulfilled, and that (v.19) their simple repentance would bring “times of refreshing” from the Lord.
19 Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.
This kind of evangelistic message in Acts commonly builds toward a call to repentance from unbelief and faith in Jesus as Messiah – with the same good news offered to Gentiles.
For further study, read Acts 2:38, 3:19, 11:18, 17:30 and 26:20
This passage contains the basis for authoritative prayers and declarations we make where we discern in a situation what Jesus would have us pray, and having spoken those words, append to them “in the name of Jesus”.
This is not a religious formula – or if it is used in that way, it is ineffective.
The man referred to was healed both by Peter’s using the words and actions that the Holy Spirit showed him to use – “in the name of Jesus” – and as a result of the exercise of faith for what was, humanly speaking, an impossibility.
Note also that this was a healing miracle which everyone in Jerusalem would have remarked on – the formerly crippled man’s pitch by one of the main routes into the temple would have made him a familiar figure, and quite a change if he was not there any more. And of course it showed Peter in a very favourable light, but only for the shortest possible time, because Peter’s first words were to give God the glory and denigrate his role in it. That’s an important lesson for us.
For reflection and discussion
p class=”p2″>How does Peter’s confidence in this passage help you to move from prayer asking God (supplication), to prayer that calls down God’s will by faith in the name of Jesus?