Scripture - Acts 3:9,12 If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a man who was lame and are being asked how he was healed...Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”
Theme - Salvation & Healing
Devotion - Yesterday we looked at Peter's bold response to the intimidation of the authorities. Today we look at what it was that he said so boldly. Like in the first part of chapter 3, Peter sermon is confrontational. He will not let the truth, which is that Jesus was neither a criminal nor heretical go unsaid. He will not let the truth that God vindicated Jesus and reversed the best laid plans of these powerful men go unproclaimed.
But this is not simply Peter boldly proclaiming doctrine, Jesus is the Messiah or personal belief, God's authority undermines the rulers authority. There is a lasting material impact to the life, death and resurrection of Jesus at work in today's story. Despite the authorities best (or worst) efforts, Jesus remains powerfully present. They have not been able to end him or his ministry. We see this illustrated in the verses above. Peter proclaims that in Jesus there is (still) salvation for all humankind. That ongoing salvation is proven in the healing of the disabled man. But In the original greek Peter doesn't say healed. He says saved.
There has developed an unnatural split between salvation and healing, as if they were separate manifestations of the loving presence of God. Healing is for the body, salvation for the soul. Healing for now, salvation after we die. But in these verses we see that for Peter there is no split. Salvation is, as we discussed last week, wholistic. The Shalom, or peace of God has come to earth in Jesus and that brings about a renewal of the whole person, body and soul, material and spiritual. This is what Peter is proclaiming and why he is found so threatening. God will no longer be safely walled off in the Temple by the authorities leaving the material world to them. God has come, in Jesus to save and heal. And what's more, Jesus is still present and active through the Spirit in the disciples. So the question we are invited to ask is, how do we together as a church proclaim the full salvation offered by Jesus in a world that wants Jesus to stay out of the material, physical, social world?
Prayer - We thank you Lord that salvation is not something we need wait for. Your wholeness, spiritual, physical, and social is offered too us here and now. Forgive us for accepting less than your wholeness in our lives and in our community. Awaken in us even now, new hope and intention to move toward the Shalom your resurrection continue to offer to us even now.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.