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. 12] So 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? 13] The 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. 14] But you denied the Holy One and the Just, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, 15] and killed the Prince of life, whom God raised from the dead, of which we are witnesses. 16] And 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.
17] “Yet now, brethren, I know that you did it in ignorance, as did also your rulers. 18] But those things which God foretold by the mouth of all His prophets, that the Christ should suffer, He has thus fulfilled.
Our last post looked at the healing of the man born unable to walk, and the amazement of the crowd which witnessed the healing. Today we look at Peter’s refusal to “take credit” for it and some of the other things which happened.
In the first place, Peter did indeed refuse to “take credit” for it. He said, “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?” v. 12, emphasis added. Instead, he turned the attention of the crowd away from himself and John and even from the miracle and the healing back to what he had preached at Pentecost. “They,” that is, the nation as represented by the rulers and leaders, and perhaps some of Peter’s present crowd had been there at the Crucifixion as well – “they” had delivered up and denied the One who ultimately had healed the man. Added to their guilt was the fact the Pilate was determined to let Him go, but the crowd that was there insisted with a great uproar, cf. John 19:12-16. The fact that Pilate himself was weak took nothing away from the guilt of the crowd, v. 13.
They denied the Holy One and the Just, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, v. 14. This denial is mentioned twice. To make it worse, they denied their own Messiah in the presence of a Gentile ruler. Not only that, but they preferred a murderer.
This denial was further intensified by Who He was whom they denied: “the Holy One and the Just” or “righteous,” a clear reference to Deity. This One was the “Giver” of life, as opposed to Barabbas, who was a “taker” of life.
“They” may have denied the Lord Jesus, but God glorified His Servant Jesus, and raised Him from the dead, vs. 13, 14. Some people might be bothered by our Lord being called a servant, but that’s how Isaiah 53:11 portrays Him, My righteous Servant.
He Himself once said, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many,” Mark 10:45; Matthew 20:28.
Further, “God…raised Him from the dead.” As the NT emphasizes, the Resurrection is the distinguishing mark of Christianity. It is the reason for the hope we have, 1 Corinthians 15.
In v. 16, Peter said that it was “His name, through faith in His name, that has made this man strong.” Through the crucifixion, the “name” of Jesus has acquired “infamy.” Yet it was this very name, or rather the Person whose name it is, that provided the power to heal this man. This DOES NOT mean simply “saying” the name of Jesus, as some sort of magic talisman or abracadabra. It is not a ritual or an exorcism. It is a recognition of and submission to that Name to which Scripture tells us every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father, Philippians 2:9-11.
Men today may argue over “the Lordship of Jesus” or what they deride as “Lordship salvation,” as if they can receive salvation from our Lord, but reject the Lord Himself. The time is coming when that will not be possible.