We Are Witnesses - Week Three


It's Eastertide (Season of Easter)

We’re going to study the Book of Acts to learn more about the first witnesses of the Resurrection and what we can apply to our own time and place.  

Today, we're going to be reading a story from the Book of Acts in which Peter (you know him as the ringleader of the disciples and also the one who betrayed Jesus three times on the night he was put on trial) gets a chance to find restoration and a second chance to do the right thing.  

But before we get into that, let me ask you a question: 

What Do You Do When You Know You Messed Up?

Let’s share some images of people with one job and the like. 

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever messed up?

Maybe it was something that cost you a job, relationship, money… 

What would you have given in that moment to get another chance to do things right?  That’s what we’ll think about in today’s story from Acts. 


Let's provide some background on this passage before we jump in. 

The healing of the man at the Gate Beautiful, Peter's sermon, the Sanhedrin is not amused, Peter and John are arrested.  

5 The next day the rulers, the elders and the teachers of the law met in Jerusalem. 6 Annas the high priest was there, and so were Caiaphas, John, Alexander and others of the high priest’s family. 7 They had Peter and John brought before them and began to question them: “By what power or what name did you do this?”

The high priest's family---think Godfather

The question is pretty pointed--they want to catch them in blasphemy. 

8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Rulers and elders of the people! 9 If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a man who was lame and are being asked how he was healed, 10 then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. 11 Jesus is

“‘the stone you builders rejected,
    which has become the cornerstone.’[a]

Psalm 118:22 - the cornerstone. A messianic Psalm. 

12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”

The Greek word here is Soteria, which can also mean healing, immediate. 

But let’s go back just a bit and recall what Peter has been through and why this moment of courage is so extraordinary. 
  • Tries to get Jesus to avoid going to Jerusalem, etc. 
  • Proclaims he would never betray Jesus 
  • Tries to take up arms to avoid Jesus' arrest 
  • Denies Jesus three times, just as Jesus predicted
  • Struggles to understand what "love" means  
How Does Resurrection Restore Us?
  • We are never so far gone that we can’t be used by God for God’s will. 
  • You never run out of chances to make better choices and do the right thing. 
  • The power of Christ’s Spirit is always there for us to draw from.  



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