Lesson 12: Peter Saw His Chance and Took It – Acts 3:12-16

by Pastor Ricky Kurth

You're listening to Lesson 12 from the sermon series "Acts" by Pastor Ricky Kurth. When you're done, explore more sermons from this series.



When a crowd gathered after Peter healed the lame man, he saw his chance to speak to preach to the Jews and took it.  The thing he “answered” (3:12) was the marveling and the looks they gave him, as if he healed him by his own power.  Jews should have known better than to act like the dumb Gentiles in Acts 14:11-15!  That shows the sorry spiritual state Israel was in at Pentecost.  Peter went on to tell them that Christ had worked the miracle, similar to what other men of God had done in time past (Gen. 41:16; Dan. 2:28-30).

What’s holiness got to do with healing (Acts 3:12)? The holiness of the kingdom will fix all that’s wrong with the world and all that’s wrong with lame men (Isa. 35:4-8).  So when that lame man walked, the Jews should have known their God had come (Isa.  35:4) in the person of their king.  They never thought of their kingdom without thinking of their king (Lu. 19:38 cf. Mark 11:10).

Once Peter had them thinking about their king, he reminded them of what they did to Him (Acts 3:13).  The Jews loved Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, they just weren’t too sure about this Jesus guy.  In mentioning the patriarchs, Peter is reminding them that there was a time they weren’t too sure about that Moses guy.  But God told Moses to say that the patriarchs sent him (Ex. 3:15).  So in mentioning Abraham, Isaac and Jacob here, Peter is suggesting God raised up another prophet, a prophet like Moses (Deut. 18:15-18).

God “glorified” the Lord (Acts 3:15) in many ways, but Peter must be thinking of a way God glorified Him before the Jews killed Him, for that’s Peter’s point.  He said, as it were, “You killed the One God glorified.”  That had to be when He raised Lazarus (John 11:4).  So Peter’s point was, “You killed someone who could give life” (cf.3:15).

Peter mentions Pilate wanted to let Him go (Acts 3:13) be-cause the Jews were blaming Rome for killing the Lord (cf. Acts 5:28) after saying they’d be responsible (Mt. 27:24,25).

Deny (Acts 3:14) is the opposite of confess (cf. John 1:20), and they had to confess the Lord to be saved (Mt. 10:32).

They denied Him, but were getting a 2nd chance to be saved.

Peter calls the Lord “Holy One” because that’s a name for the Father (Ps. 71:22; 78:41; 89:18; Isa. 1:4; 5:19,24, etc.).  So Peter was telling them that in denying Christ they were denying the Father.He knew that they knew the Father had someone He called “Holy One,” someone who had died and gone to hell (Ps. 16:10).  That was the Holy One that Peter said they denied, and denying Him before Pilate led to His death.

Pilate didn’t know He was God, but he knew He was “just” (Mt. 27:19-24), that is, that He hadn’t broken any of the laws of justice.  And Peter knew that the Jews knew by experience that He’d never sinned, let alone broke the law (Jo. 8:46).

When they desired a murderer instead of the Lord (Acts 3:14), that was a type of how they’ll desire Antichrist instead of Christ (Jo. 5:43).  Barabbas was a thief and a murderer (Jo. 18:40), and Antichrist will steal physical life and eternal life (Jo. 10:10).  Barabbas was guilty of sedition and insurrection (Mark 15:7; Lu. 23:18,19), and Antichrist too will rebel against Israel’s ruler and declare himself king of Israel.

“Prince of life” (Acts 3:15) means giver of life, as “Prince of Peace” (Isa. 9:6) means giver of peace.  Peter’s point is that they saved a taker of life and condemned a giver of life!

The “soundness” of the lame man (Acts 3:16) was what the nation of Israel lacked spiritually in Isaiah’s day (Isa. 1:5-7) and at Pentecost.  But if Jews joined Peter in the little flock, they could enter the kingdom, something the lame man typified when he entered the temple with Peter and John.

Finally, it wasn’t the lame man’s faith in Christ that healed him, for he hadn’t expressed any (Acts 3:1-6).  It was the faith of the apostles in the power the Lord gave them to heal people that healed him (Mt. 21:21; Mr. 11:22), i.e., faith in His name (Mark 16:17,18).  So when Paul tells you that you can do things like not let sin reign in your body (Ro. 6:12), we know the only thing keeping that from happening is your faith in what God says that you can do.  He wouldn’t say not to let it happen if you couldn’t let it happen.  So don’t!

Video available on YouTube: Peter Saw His Chance and Took It – Acts 3:12-16

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