A lame man healed by Peter and John. (1-11) Peter's address to
the Jews. (12-26)
The apostles and the first believers attended the temple
worship at the hours of prayer. Peter and John seem to have been
led by a Divine direction, to work a miracle on a man above
forty years old, who had been a cripple from his birth. Peter,
in the name of Jesus of Nazareth, bade him rise up and walk.
Thus, if we would attempt to good purpose the healing of men's
souls, we must go forth in the name and power of Jesus Christ,
calling on helpless sinners to arise and walk in the way of
holiness, by faith in Him. How sweet the thought to our souls,
that in respect to all the crippled faculties of our fallen
nature, the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth can make us whole!
With what holy joy and rapture shall we tread the holy courts,
when God the Spirit causes us to enter therein by his strength!
Observe the difference in the manner of working the
miracles. Our Lord always spoke as having Almighty power, never
hesitated to receive the greatest honour that was given to him
on account of his Divine miracles. But the apostles referred all
to their Lord, and refused to receive any honour, except as his
undeserving instruments. This shows that Jesus was one with the
Father, and co-equal with Him; while the apostles knew that they
were weak, sinful men, and dependent for every thing on Jesus,
whose power effected the cure. Useful men must be very humble.
Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but to thy name, give glory.
Every crown must be cast at the feet of Christ. The apostle
showed the Jews the greatness of their crime, but would not
anger or drive them to despair. Assuredly, those who reject,
refuse, or deny Christ, do it through ignorance; but this can in
no case be an excuse.
The absolute necessity of repentance is to be solemnly
charged upon the consciences of all who desire that their sins
may be blotted out, and that they may share in the refreshment
which nothing but a sense of Christ's pardoning love can afford.
Blessed are those who have felt this. It was not needful for the
Holy Spirit to make known the times and seasons of these
dispensations. These subjects are still left obscure. But when
sinners are convinced of their sins, they will cry to the Lord
for pardon; and to the penitent, converted, and believing, times
of refreshment will come from the presence of the Lord. In a
state of trial and probation, the glorified Redeemer will be out
of sight, because we must live by faith in him.
Here is a powerful address to warn the Jews of the
dreadful consequences of their unbelief, in the very words of
Moses, their favourite prophet, out of pretended zeal for whom
they were ready to reject Christianity, and to try to destroy
it. Christ came into the world to bring a blessing with him. And
he sent his Spirit to be the great blessing. Christ came to
bless us, by turning us from our iniquities, and saving us from
our sins. We, by nature cleave to sin; the design of Divine
grace is to turn us from it, that we may not only forsake, but
hate it. Let none think that they can be happy by continuing in
sin, when God declares that the blessing is in being turned from
all iniquity. Let none think that they understand or believe the
gospel, who only seek deliverance from the punishment of sin,
but do not expect happiness in being delivered from sin itself.
And let none expect to be turned from their sin, except by
believing in, and receiving Christ the Son of God, as their
wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption.