Acts 3 reflection:
In Acts 2, the Day of Pentecost was Wedding Feasts of sorts for the people of the Way – for those that were in the community of those that placed their faith in Jesus. It was big and large.
In Acts 3 we pick up what it looks like in the day to day life of this early community of believers. Peter and John were heading to the temple at 3:00 pm for daily prayers. They encounter a lame man that everyone in the area knows. He begs for money.
The lame man asks Peter and John for money. Peter said we have no money, but I tell you this, “In the name of Jesus, rise up and walk.”
And the lame man’s feet and ankles were strong. He leaped and sang and dance next to Peter and John as they entered the temple. The text says he continued to cling to them (vs. 11).
This attracted a crowd and Peter would not miss an opportunity to preach.
He tells them it was not his own power or piety that healed the man, but it was God through the name of Jesus. Vs. 16 – His name (Jesus) itself made this man strong.
There is a power in the name of Jesus. It should not be evoked without thought. We could all be more mindful of how and when we use the phrase – in the name of Jesus. (too much here to unpack today)
Peter continues to preach and we hear a similar refrain at the end of Peter’s message: vs. 19: change your hearts and lives! — see Acts 2:38.
At the core of the Good News is not simply knowing about Jesus and the good He has done and believing it. It is more than a mental game. Peter says, “change your hearts and lives.”
In other translations, this has been expressed as repenting. Turning around, doing an about-face. Following and accepting Jesus is not about just believing He was a good guy and He can get you to heaven. It is about changing your direction. Turning from what you have been doing and following after Jesus.
So much of our lives is about what direction we are facing. The direction we are facing usually determines the direction in which we walk.
Peter was saying – turn from yourselves and turn towards Jesus. Follow after Him. If you don’t change the direction of your heart and life, then you will not experience freedom, hope, peace, and purpose.