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Saturday, September 7, 2019
The Gospels & Early History
II Chronicles 16-20
One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer--at three in the afternoon.
Now a man crippled from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts.
When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money.
Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, "Look at us!"
So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them.
Then Peter said, "Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk."
Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man's feet and ankles became strong.
He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God.
When all the people saw him walking and praising God,
they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.
While the beggar held on to Peter and John, all the people were astonished and came running to them in the place called Solomon's Colonnade.
When Peter saw this, he said to them: "Men of Israel, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk?
The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus. You handed him over to be killed, and you disowned him before Pilate, though he had decided to let him go.
You disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you.
You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this.
By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus' name and the faith that comes through him that has given this complete healing to him, as you can all see.
"Now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did your leaders.
But this is how God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, saying that his Christ would suffer.
Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,
and that he may send the Christ, who has been appointed for you--even Jesus.
He must remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets.
For Moses said, `The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people; you must listen to everything he tells you.
Anyone who does not listen to him will be completely cut off from among his people.'
"Indeed, all the prophets from Samuel on, as many as have spoken, have foretold these days.
And you are heirs of the prophets and of the covenant God made with your fathers. He said to Abraham, `Through your offspring all peoples on earth will 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."
The priests and the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to Peter and John while they were speaking to the people.
They were greatly disturbed because the apostles were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead.
They seized Peter and John, and because it was evening, they put them in jail until the next day.
But many who heard the message believed, and the number of men grew to about five thousand.
The next day the rulers, elders and teachers of the law met in Jerusalem.
Annas the high priest was there, and so were Caiaphas, John, Alexander and the other men of the high priest's family.
They had Peter and John brought before them and began to question them: "By what power or what name did you do this?"
Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: "Rulers and elders of the people!
If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a cripple and are asked how he was healed,
then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed.
He is "`the stone you builders rejected, which has become the capstone. '
Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved."
When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.
But since they could see the man who had been healed standing there with them, there was nothing they could say.
So they ordered them to withdraw from the Sanhedrin and then conferred together.
"What are we going to do with these men?" they asked. "Everybody living in Jerusalem knows they have done an outstanding miracle, and we cannot deny it.
But to stop this thing from spreading any further among the people, we must warn these men to speak no longer to anyone in this name."
Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus.
But Peter and John replied, "Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God's sight to obey you rather than God.
For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard."
After further threats they let them go. They could not decide how to punish them, because all the people were praising God for what had happened.
For the man who was miraculously healed was over forty years old.
On their release, Peter and John went back to their own people and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said to them.
When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God. "Sovereign Lord," they said, "you made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and everything in them.
You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David: "`Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the Lord and against his Anointed One. '
Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed.
They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen.
Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness.
Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus."
After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.
All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had.
With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all.
There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales
and put it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need.
Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means Son of Encouragement),
sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles' feet.
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. NIV. Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.
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