Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Daily Bible Reading: Acts 3:17-4:4
And Peter said, "And now, friends, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers. In this way God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, that his Messiah would suffer. Repent therefore, and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Messiah appointed for you, that is, Jesus, who must remain in heaven until the time of universal restoration that God announced long ago through his holy prophets. Moses said, 'The Lord your God will raise up for you from your own people a prophet like me. You must listen to whatever he tells you. And it will be that everyone who does not listen to that prophet will be utterly rooted out of the people.' And all the prophets, as many as have spoken, from Samuel and those after him, also predicted these days. You are the descendants of the prophets and of the covenant that God gave to your ancestors, saying to Abraham, 'And in your descendants all the families of the earth shall be blessed.' When God raised up his servant, he sent him first to you, to bless you by turning each of you from your wicked ways."
While Peter and John were speaking to the people, the priests, the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees came to them, much annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming that in Jesus there is the resurrection of the dead. So they arrested them and put them in custody until the next day, for it was already evening. But many of those who heard the word believed; and they numbered about five thousand.
Comments: I have often wondered what it would have been like to hear Peter and John in the Temple. There might have been other speakers in the Temple, but Peter and John must have been dynamic, teaching in the same place that Jesus had taught, Ezekiel, or Isaiah had taught. They were standing on the same ground that all the prophets had preached. It would be like me preaching from the pulpit of the National Cathedral (which I have done), Canterbury Cathedral or Schlosskirke, in Wittenberg, Germany.
Peter and John reminded the people of those who have prepared the way for Jesus, those who waited for the Messiah just as surely as I do today. I too, wait reminded of the promises of the prophets. And I am reminded that it is through me and every believer that God’s name is proclaimed. But the real issue is Do I live as though the Messiah has come? Am I living as if the fulfillment of the prophecies has been lived out? It is sometimes easier to live like Christ has not yet come, at times. It is harder to live the life of one who IS saved than to live in hope of what might be. The Prince of Peace has already come to my life—how then, do I live each day to make that coming a reality? Hmmmm.