And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.” Luke 5:10
As we read narratives it brings the story to life when we retrace the steps that our characters have taken. Remember how Simon Peter confessed that he was “a sinful man,” when he was the first to recognize Jesus as the Christ, when he blustered “Lord, I am ready to go with you both to prison and to death.” You’ll recall that at the end of Luke’s gospel, we watched Peter deny that he knew Jesus, then rise and run to the tomb, marvel at what happened, and fade into the background, seemingly without any resolution.
But yesterday he emerges as a leader of the Apostles, citing Scripture regarding Judas, and professing the fulfilled promise of Pentecost. Apparently Jesus’ insistence that “The Son of Man is about to be delivered into the hands of men…” had finally sunk into his ears. Today we see how much of an impact the resurrection and the events of Pentecost had on Peter. In the opening scene of chapter 3, Peter is asked for alms by a man who had been lame since birth. He gives the man more than he expected, which leads to a sermon, which leads to an arrest and a hasty arraignment.
Pay attention to the setting: this all happens in the Temple where Jesus had essentially sealed His fate…. to Peter’s bold proclamation “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth”… to how Luke affirms the public, irrefutable nature of the miracle that follows… to Peter’s direct, second-person call to conviction… to the charges, and the confounded response, of the Sanhedrin.
Pay attention to how Luke frames the answer Peter and John give to their accusers. And remember, if you will, the promise that Jesus had made to them, long before their eyes were opened, in Luke chapter 12: And when they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not be anxious about how you should defend yourself or what you should say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”
Our verse for this week is Romans 3:23: For all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God.
Acts 3 and 4. Now let’s read it!
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,