The third chapter in Acts begins with Peter and John going to the temple to pray. At the temple courts, a man crippled from birth asked them for money. Peter responded: “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” And the man jumped up and began praising God.
Filled with wonder, people crowded around to see the miracle. Peter took the opportunity to preach, and he began with, “Men of Israel, why does this surprise you?”
Actually, I had wondered the same thing. Many in the crowd surely saw some of Jesus’ miracles, and Jesus had even raised people from the dead. So why did this miracle get such a reaction?
Of course, I can’t know for sure, but I wonder if some of the people in the crowd had begun to regret the fact that Jesus was no longer around. Maybe since He had been gone, some of them had gotten sick, and they realized they could no longer go to Jesus for healing. Maybe some of them had begun to feel the burden of their sin and wished desperately that they could still go to Jesus to receive forgiveness as they had seen others do. Then come Peter and John performing miracles in Jesus’ name. Really it’s no wonder the people got excited. Jesus’ power was still available to them!
We can get excited for the very same reason. Just listen to the testimonies shared during our baptism services. God is still saving people and restoring lives with His awesome power today.
“It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has given this complete healing. … Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” Acts 3:16, 4:12 NIV