Today’s passage from Acts is exciting because it depicts the spontaneity and passion of the early believers. These were people who walked with Jesus and experienced his resurrection. They also shared the wonderful good news of what God had done and performed miracles after being filled with the Spirit at Pentecost just one chapter earlier. For the disciples, especially Peter, who had denied knowing Jesus before his crucifixion, their actions were a result of a huge life change that had occurred in their lives.
Speaking to the crowd, who were amazed at the healing of the lame man, Peter calls for repentance from his “fellow Israelites.” (v. 17) These were the same people who had shouted for Jesus’ death over that of Barabbas. Peter’s speech tells them that hearing the good news and believing it, is not all that is required of them; they have to repent of their sins in order to receive the fullness of the forgiveness that the good news offers them.
Our passage from 2 Samuel today also depicts a lame man: Mephibosheth, the son of King David’s best friend Jonathan. He was only five years old when Jonathan and Saul died (2 Sam 4). David, who was hated and hunted by Saul, shows incredible grace and kindness to Saul’s kin by giving Mephibosheth all the land that was once owned by Saul. He even gives him a place at David’s own table.
While Mephibosheth is not physically healed like the man in Acts chapter 3, I believe that we can see the same grace in the actions of David, “a man after God’s own heart,” (1 Sam 13:14) as shown by God to his people after they rejected his son and crucified him.
God calls all of us to believe in the good news of Jesus’ death, resurrection and subsequent defeat of sin and death. We are to repent of our sins in order to receive the fullness of the forgiveness that is offered to us through that good news. And then, through that incredible grace offered to us, we can join him at his table as his daughters and sons.
How could we, when offered such amazing grace that we do not deserve, and being filled with the Spirit, not respond with the same spontaneity and passion of faith as Peter and the early church in sharing the good news with those around us?
Wife to Pastor Nick and primary caregiver to two great dogs!