1217 L01-Faith in Jesus

Faith in Jesus

DECEMBER 3 • Bible Study Guide 1

Bible Background • ACTS 3
Printed Text • ACTS 3:11–21 | Devotional Reading • PSALM 118:1–14

Aim for Change

By the end of this lesson, we will: EXAMINE the role of Peter’s healing miracle in the post-Pentecost time frame; VALUE the need for bold witnessing; and EXERCISE a faith that affirms the identity of Jesus Christ in the twenty-first century.

In Focus

Virginia and her husband Mike had been married for 25 years. After raising four kids, they were now empty nesters and ready to enjoy their retirement. One day, Virginia began to experience pains in her stomach. After going to the doctor, she came back with tears in her eyes, and landed on the bed. Mike followed her into the bedroom and asked what had happened. Virginia shared the bad news: she had cancer, and the doctor had told her it was terminal.
Mike was not a believer and prepared for the worst. Virginia still had faith that God could do the impossible, and she put a call out to everyone in her circle to pray.
At her next doctor’s appointment, she sat waiting for her latest test results. The doctor came in with a dumbfounded look on his face. He kept starting to say something, but instead he just kept shaking his head. Finally he informed her that she was cancer-free. She went home and told Mike. Mike couldn’t believe it and began weeping for joy. That was the beginning of his newfound faith in Christ.
God does miracles not just for us, but so that others can believe as well. In today’s lesson, we will see how a lame man’s healing led to Peter preaching the Gospel to those who didn’t believe. Have you ever experienced a miraculous healing?

Keep in Mind

“And his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all” (Acts 3:16).

Words You Should Know

A. Marvel (Acts 3:12) thaumazo (Gk.)—To admire, have in admiration, marvel, wonder.
B. Power (v. 12) dunamis (Gk.)—Power, authority and might.

Teacher Preparation
Unifying Principle—Seeking Wholeness. People who are broken want to be made whole. How and where do they find wholeness? Peter proclaimed that faith in Jesus restores people to wholeness.
A. Pray for clarity and understanding of the lesson.
B. Read the Scriptures in multiple translations.
C. Read the Devotional Reading and reflect on the way it illuminates the printed verses.

O—Open the Lesson
A. Open with prayer, including the Aim for Change.
B. Introduce today’s lesson title: “Faith in Jesus.”
C. Have your students read the Aim for Change and the Keep in Mind verse together. Discuss the importance of having faith in the name of Jesus and what that looks like or means to them.
D. Tell the students to read the In Focus story silently, and then discuss it.

P—Present the Scriptures
A. Ask for volunteers to read the Focal Verses.
B. Use The People, Places, and Times; Background; Search the Scriptures; the At-A-Glance outline; In Depth; and More Light on the Text to clarify the verses.

E—Explore the Meaning
A. Divide the class into two groups. The first group will discuss what it means to have faith in Jesus’ name. The second group will discuss if they’ve known anyone who has experienced a miracle.
B. Divide the class into groups to talk about the Discuss the Meaning, Lesson in Our Society, and Make It Happen sections. Have the students choose a representative to report their responses.
C. Connect these sections to the Aim for Change and the Keep in Mind verse.

N—Next Steps for Application
A. Summarize the lesson.
B. Ask the students if they have any take-away thoughts that they would like to share.
C. Close with prayer.

Worship Guide

For the Superintendent or Teacher
Theme: Faith in Jesus
Song: “Anything Can Happen” by Jonathan Nelson
Devotional Reading: Psalm 118:1–14

Daily Bible Readings

MONDAY
Take Refuge in the Lord
(Psalm 118:1–9)

TUESDAY
The Lord, My Strength and Salvation
(Psalm 118:10–14)

WEDNESDAY
A Blessing Promised to All Peoples
(Acts 3:22–26)
THURSDAY
Your Faith Saved You
(Luke 7:44–50)

FRIDAY
Contrasting Responses by Jews and Gentiles
(Acts 13:44–49)

SATURDAY
Crippled Beggar Requests Alms
(Acts 3:1–10)

SUNDAY
Faith in Jesus
(Acts 3:11–21)

KJV

Acts 3:11 And as the lame man which was healed held Peter and John, all the people ran together unto them in the porch that is called Solomon’s, greatly wondering.
12 And when Peter saw it, he answered unto the people, Ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this? or why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk?
13 The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let him go.
14 But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you;
15 And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses.
16 And his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.
17 And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers.
18 But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled.
19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.
20 And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:
21 Whom the heaven� must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.

NLT

Acts 3:11 They all rushed out in amazement to Solomon’s Colonnade, where the man was holding tightly to Peter and John.
12 Peter saw his opportunity and addressed the crowd. “People of Israel,” he said, “what is so surprising about this? And why stare at us as though we had made this man walk by our own power or godliness?
13 For it is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—the God of all our ancestors—who has brought glory to his servant Jesus by doing this. This is the same Jesus whom you handed over and rejected before Pilate, despite Pilate’s decision to release him.
14 You rejected this holy, righteous one and instead demanded the release of a murderer.
15 You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. And we are witnesses of this fact!
16 Through faith in the name of Jesus, this man was healed—and you know how crippled he was before. Faith in Jesus’ name has healed him before your very eyes.
17 Friends, I realize that what you and your leaders did to Jesus was done in ignorance.
18 But God was fulfilling what all the prophets had foretold about the Messiah—that he must suffer these things.
19 Now repent of your sins and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped away.
20 Then times of refreshment will come from the presence of the Lord, and he will again send you Jesus, your appointed Messiah.
21 For he must remain in heaven until the time for the final restoration of all things, as God promised long ago through his holy prophets.”

The People, Places, and Times

Solomon’s Colonnade. This was a porch thought to have been a remnant of the Solomonic temple. It was located on the east side of the Temple and directly above the Kidron valley. This side of the Temple contained the Court of Women and the Beautiful Gate, which gave access to the Court of Israel. On the steps toward this gate, those who were disadvantaged begged for charity.
Peter. Also known as Simon Peter. He was one of the first to follow Jesus after leaving his father’s trade as a fishermen. He was a member of the twelve disciples and Jesus’ inner circle. Peter was known for being bold and expressive. He also was shown to be weak in his faith by denying Jesus three times. Once Peter was restored and filled with the Holy Spirit, he became a leading figure among the apostles and one of the first to preach to the Gentiles.

Background

On this particular day, Peter and John are on their way to the Temple to pray at “the ninth hour” (Acts 3:1). Their Jewish background had accustomed them to going to prayer at 3 in the afternoon. As they get close to the Temple, they saw a man who had been lame from birth coming every day to the Temple. Peter said, “Look at us!” The lame man would have been expecting money from them. Immediately, Peter took the lame man by the right hand and helped him up. As he did, the man’s feet and ankles were instantly healed and strengthened. The lame man jumped up, stood on his feet, and began to walk! Everyone saw him “walking, leaping, and praising God” as he went into the Temple. The text says the people were “filled with wonder and amazement” (v. 10). They were being set up by God to deal with how they view the miracles, signs, and wonders that the apostles were performing in Jesus’ name.

At-A-Glance

1. The Meaning of the Miracle (Acts 3:11–13)
2. Miracle of the Preaching (vv. 14–18)
3. Preaching of the Prince of Life (vv. 19–21)

In Depth

1. The Meaning of the Miracle (Acts 3:11–13)
Our verses begin with the people running from Solomon’s Colonnade “greatly wondering”: here was a man who everyone knew was lame from birth, yet he was completely healed. The people were overwhelmingly astonished and surprised by the power of Jesus being so evident. Yet that is exactly what Peter said in these verses (v. 12). They were surprised because at this point the Jewish people didn’t know the power of the Holy Spirit, nor that the power to work miracles in Jesus’ name had been passed on to the apostles.
Peter continues to explain the meaning behind the miracle. It was not his power, but the power of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—the God of the Jewish ancestors. In other words, this is God’s doing through His Servant Jesus Christ, whom the Jewish leaders handed over and rejected before Pilate (v. 13). Peter is seizing the opportunity to tell the reluctant Jews of the real power and purpose of the miracle.

2. Miracle of the Preaching (vv. 14–18)
Next we see Peter attribute this miracle to the power of Jesus. Peter takes advantage of the miracle and begins to preach to the people about Jesus. Peter declares who Jesus is: “the Holy One and the Just” (v. 14). Jesus was blameless. Verse 15 says, “And [you] killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses.” Peter reminds them about Jesus Christ—His crucifixion and resurrection. This Gospel is the recurrent theme in Peter’s speeches.
Verse 17 says, “I wot (know) that through your ignorance ye did it.” Peter seems to make an allowance for this being a sin of ignorance. The people didn’t know the true identity of Jesus as the Messiah. In contrast, he supports that Jesus is the true Messiah by the prophecies that He fulfilled. Peter not only explains that Christ died and was raised again, but also shows the sovereignty of God in explaining that it was all a part of His plan. He shows the connection between the miracle and all that the prophets spoke of in the Old Testament.

3. Preaching of the Prince of Life (vv. 19–21)
Peter comes to his sermon’s climax and tells the people to repent. He says that they were ignorant, but their rejection of Jesus paved the way for God to use His Servant to save the world. He wasn’t only after Israel; He wanted all the nations. This would fulfill God’s promise to Abraham, that He would make him to be a blessing and that through him all nations on earth would be blessed (Genesis 12:1–3).
Peter calls the people to repent and turn away from sin so that their sins may be wiped away (Acts 3:19). He wants them to be refreshed by the presence of the Lord until Jesus, the appointed Messiah, returns (v. 20). The Jews were looking for another Messiah, but Jesus is the only Messiah sent by God to save His people from their sins.

Search the Scriptures
1. Why were the people amazed and astonished at the healing of the lame man (Acts 3:11–13)?
2. What would the people’s reward be for repenting from their sins (vv. 19–20)?

Discuss the Meaning
There are many modern reports of miraculous healing. What is God’s purpose in healing today?

Lesson in Our Society
Every thirteen minutes, someone is diagnosed with some form of cancer. Every year, 1.4 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes. Add to these other forms of diseases diagnosed every day. If a cure existed for everyone’s ailments, regardless of whatever is going on in their body, everyone would take advantage of it. When sickness and infirmity hit our bodies, we are open to trying everything. However, first we must get rid of the myths that crowd out our faith, belief, and trust in Jesus.
We must first debunk the myth of “Maybe Jesus doesn’t want to heal me,” as well as “Jesus won’t heal a sinner like me” and “I do not have enough faith to be healed.” These ideas are lies that do not make sense. Is God a healer? As much as we hear about illness and disease, we also hear reports of God healing people through natural and supernatural means. We must also understand that God does not always heal, and human bodies eventually die. Elisha, Paul, David, and many other righteous people in Scripture got sick and did not get healed. Being overcome by illness is not a lack of faith. Yet our faith is in the truth that the same Jesus who healed the lame man is still a healer today, whether or not He heals as we expect it.

Make It Happen
Peter and John bore witness to the person and work of Jesus. How can we do the same thing with our lives?

  • Pray and ask God to fill you with boldness and list out those in your life who need to hear the message of Jesus.
  • Write out and rehearse your testimony of how Jesus saved you. Keep it to two minutes or less.
  • Pray that God would set up divine appointments with others so that you can pray for them and perhaps share your testimony.

Follow the Spirit

What God wants me to do:
______________________________________
______________________________________
______________________________________

Remember Your Thoughts
Special insights I have learned:
______________________________________
______________________________________
______________________________________
______________________________________

More Light on the Text

Acts 3:11–21
11 And as the lame man which was healed held Peter and John, all the people ran together unto them in the porch that is called Solomon’s, greatly wondering.
The lame man, now healed, grabbed on to Peter and John and was unwilling to let them get away from him. While he was holding on to the two apostles, the crowd, astonished beyond measure, “ran together unto them in the porch that is called Solomon’s.” This porch seems to have been a place where the disciples usually gathered together (John 10:23; Acts 5:12).

12 And when Peter saw it, he answered unto the people, Ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this? or why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk?
Peter seized the opportunity to present the Gospel message. He told the crowd that the man was not healed by any power or piety that he and John possessed. It was not dependent on their claim of personal holiness.
The verb “to walk,” used here in a special grammatical construction in the Greek, expresses a purpose or a result. The man did not walk as the result of the apostles’ power or devotion. The verse clearly emphasizes that the apostles by themselves could not enable this man to walk.

13 The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let him go.
In addressing the crowd, Peter chose his words wisely. He wanted not only to gain their attention, but also to show that he identified himself with the nation and hope of Israel. He saw in Jesus a direct continuity with the Old Testament, the fulfillment of the promise to their forefathers. The expression “God of our fathers” is a title of God (Exodus 3:6) intended to emphasize the seriousness of the crime of which the crowd had been guilty. The term is used in contrast with the honor and glorification (Gk. doxazo, dok-SAD-zo) that God had given to His Son, Jesus.

14 But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you.
Pilate, the Roman governor, had been willing to release Jesus, but the men of Israel denied Him freedom (Luke 23:22–24). The expression “the Holy One and the Just” is a messianic title for Jesus which is used again in Acts 7:52 and 22:14. The expression is in strong opposition to the word “murderer,” used for the person who was released instead of Jesus. These men of Israel had refused to acknowledge Jesus as their divinely appointed King and Savior; instead, they had asked that a condemned murderer, Barabbas, be released (Luke 23:18–19).

15 And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses.
In so doing, they put the very “Prince of life” to death (an amazing paradox!). The expression “Prince of life” identifies Christ as the source of life and salvation (cf. Acts 5:31). It is also a messianic title for Jesus, meaning that He is the giver of the new life that overcomes death.
Although they killed Him, God restored Jesus to life again. Peter, John, and the apostles had been witnesses to Jesus’ resurrection. Here, Peter emphasizes the contrast between the people’s treatment of Jesus and the Father’s treatment of Him.

16 And his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.
In order to explain how the lame man had been healed, Peter referred to the death and resurrection of Christ. The Father had honored Jesus, shown the divine nature of His Son (or Servant), and raised Him from the dead. He also further confirmed Jesus’ power by this sign—the healing of the man born crippled—which everyone had seen.
The man had been healed by faith in the power of the name of the exalted Messiah, Jesus. The faith mentioned in this verse could refer to the faith of the man who was healed, as well as the faith of the apostles (cf. v. 5; 1 Corinthians 12:9).
From His place of exaltation, Jesus had endowed His disciples with power to act in His name and perform mighty works just like those He had performed in the days when He still walked among them (John 14:12–14).

17 And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers. 18 But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled.
Peter consoles them by stating that he “wot” that the people acted in ignorance. “Wot” is a word we don’t use anymore today that means “know”; the word “wit” comes from the same old verb. The Greek word translated “wot” (Gk. oida, OY-dah) means to know by reflection or thinking. The writer uses the term here to show that Peter sees beyond the surface of their actions and knows the motivation and context. Not only was the crowd guilty of this ignorant action, but the rulers were as well.
He then goes on to say that this is all according to God’s plan. The Greek word (prokataggello, pro-kat-an-GHELL-low) for “shewed” (modern: shown) means to announce in advance, or to foretell so that everyone knows that this was spoken about beforehand. Through the prophets, God had spoken and said that His Messiah would suffer. These things have now come to pass.

19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord. 20 And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:
Peter now gives instructions for how the crowd should respond: they are to repent (Gk. metanoeo, meh-ta-no-EH-oh). The idea behind the Greek word is to change one’s mind; to repent means to abandon former attitudes, actions, and dispositions and replace them with new ones. This change of mind is accompanied by them being “converted” (Gk. epistrepho, eh-pee-STREH-fo) which etymologically means to turn back. In this context, it means to turn back or return to God.
As a result, their sins would be blotted out (Gk. exaleipho, ek-sa-LAY-fo). This word can mean to overlay and cover, or to wipe off. The second meaning is used here; the sins of ignorance in delivering Jesus over to be crucified, as well as any other sins, would be wiped away. The people would also experience the “times of refreshing.” The word here for refreshing (Gk. anapsuxis, ah-NOP-sik-sis) means a cooling or blowing off and also a breathing space; in this context, it means relief. It is unclear whether this refers to the time before the return of the Messiah or the actual time of the Messiah’s return. Verse 20 may give insight into the meaning of the previous verse, as Peter says that Jesus would return. This would be necessary relief and seems to be the meaning of the times of refreshing.

21 Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.
Here Peter speaks of the time in between Christ’s ascension and His return. Heaven receives or welcomes Him until the times of restitution (Gk. apokatastasis, ah-po-ka-TA-sta-sees). The Greek word means to restore someone or something to its previous, satisfactory state. This is a time that Peter asserts the prophets spoke about “since the world began”; this was probably hyperbole or even a reference to the protoevangelion or pre-
gospel of Genesis 3:15. Jews expected that Israel would be restored through Messianic rule (Isaiah 40:9–11; Ezekiel 37:21–28; Amos 9:11–15), but Peter is saying that they can be a part of this time of restoration if they repent and turn to God.

Say It Correctly

Colonnade. KAH-luh-naid.
Restitution. res-teh-TOO-shun..

CONTACT US

Questions or Concerns? We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Sending

© 2012-2016 UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc)

Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?