Thursday, August 10, 2017


When Peter and John healed the crippled man at the Beautiful Gate of the temple, the people were astonished. Peter said,

When Peter saw this, he said to them: “Fellow Israelites, why does this surprise you (Acts 3:12).
That’s an interesting question, one that we all need to think about. The crowd were astonished, but Peter was suggesting that it was not surprising. This was normal, now that Jesus had been raised from the dead. Peter explains:
You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this. 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 (Acts 4:15-16).
God has raised Jesus from the dead. He is the author of life. The crippled man has been completely healed by in Jesus.

Jesus has been raised from the dead, so healing of the sick is now normal. Peter and John were applying Jesus’ standard method for sharing the gospel.

  • Go to a public place
  • Heal the sick
  • Wait for the crowd to gather
  • Proclaim the good news of the kingdom.
We should not be surprised if the method that Jesus told us to use actually works. Peter does not seem to have been surprised. He had seen Jesus use this method. He had used it when he was sent out with the Twelve.

If we think that a crippled person being completely healed is surprising, we are standing with the unbelievers in Jerusalem, not with Peter and John.


August said...

One of the things I noticed was that Charismatics would place heavy emphasis on the importance of public 'Christian' actions. So younger people, most of whom found talking to strangers a rather pulse-pounding event, would experience a high level of internal emotions while attempting to do these public actions. If we judge by the fruit, it seems difficult to attribute these actions to God.

Meanwhile the intense emotional experience the 'Christians' have by doing this behavior becomes its own goal. I would prefer it if these people were not labeling their thrill seeking as Christian and would go rock-climbing, parachuting, etc...

Additionally, we often find various people- especially young women, feeling 'called' to do this thrill seeking stuff, rather than the more mundane homemaking sort of stuff that would actually keep a community together.

If you look at this from God's point of veiw- He does not distribute passports. He did, however, want to make sure Peter was known as His- for Peter was also known as a follower of Jesus. Messiahs were, and to some extent still are, a bit of a hobby for Jews. There's always someone wandering around who could be 'the one.' And then that one dies and his followers tend to drop off after a while. But this event with Peter did not fit a very well known model- and this was why it was surprising.

But if we look at what you have just written- how is that different from some sort of shamanism? If you get the circumstances just right, then God will act? How is that different from dancing the dance just right, so then it will rain?

Ron McK said...

If you assume the Charismatic Renewal was all excitement seeking you are throwing the baby out with the bath water.  Most of what I say was Jesus seeking.

A shaman tries to get a god to do something he doesn't want to do.  This is the other way round. God wants to do stuff but he needs people to work through.