Building the Reputation of Jesus - (Acts 3:11-26) P7

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In this message, we are looking at how Peter and John focused on building the reputation of Jesus, rather than their own reputation by the incredible miracles they were performing. The challenge for all of us in this lesson is to lay down the emotional needs and desires we have to be appreciated, respected, and receive credit for what we've done - because our need to be liked and appreciated will get in the way and potentially lead people to following us rather than Jesus. The focus is to encourage the listener to take every opportunity they have to point people to Jesus.

Notes
Transcript
Sunday, April 16, 2023

Introductory information

In the last 10 verses, Peter and John had encountered a man on the way into the Temple
He had been lame since birth and was over 40 years old
He asked them for money but they healed him instead
His healing was so miraculously he was instantly able to jump and run

READ

Question to consider as we read:

Who’s reputation should we be building? & Why?
Acts 3:11–26 CSB
11 While he was holding on to Peter and John, all the people, utterly astonished, ran toward them in what is called Solomon’s Colonnade. 12 When Peter saw this, he addressed the people: “Fellow Israelites, why are you amazed at this? Why do you stare at us, as though we had made him walk by our own power or godliness? 13 The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our ancestors, has glorified his servant Jesus, whom you handed over and denied before Pilate, though he had decided to release him. 14 You denied the Holy and Righteous One and asked to have a murderer released to you. 15 You killed the source of life, whom God raised from the dead; we are witnesses of this. 16 By faith in his name, his name has made this man strong, whom you see and know. So the faith that comes through Jesus has given him this perfect health in front of all of you. 17 “And now, brothers and sisters, I know that you acted in ignorance, just as your leaders also did. 18 In this way God fulfilled what he had predicted through all the prophets—that his Messiah would suffer. 19 Therefore repent and turn back, so that your sins may be wiped out, 20 that seasons of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send Jesus, who has been appointed for you as the Messiah. 21 Heaven must receive him until the time of the restoration of all things, which God spoke about through his holy prophets from the beginning. 22 Moses said: The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your brothers. You must listen to everything he tells you. 23 And everyone who does not listen to that prophet will be completely cut off from the people. 24 “In addition, all the prophets who have spoken, from Samuel and those after him, have also foretold these days. 25 You are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant that God made with your ancestors, saying to Abraham, And all the families of the earth will be blessed through your offspring. 26 God raised up his servant and sent him first to you to bless you by turning each of you from your evil ways.”

EXAMINE

What are some key points in this passage?

Acts 3:12 CSB
12 When Peter saw this, he addressed the people: “Fellow Israelites, why are you amazed at this? Why do you stare at us, as though we had made him walk by our own power or godliness?
Peter doesn’t want the credit or attention on Him - He wants it on Jesus
It was natural for people to be drawn to Peter and John because they had performed this miracle
Yet, Peter is safeguarding people from placing their trust in fallible human beings
Acts 3:14–16 CSB
14 You denied the Holy and Righteous One and asked to have a murderer released to you. 15 You killed the source of life, whom God raised from the dead; we are witnesses of this. 16 By faith in his name, his name has made this man strong, whom you see and know. So the faith that comes through Jesus has given him this perfect health in front of all of you.
Peter explains that the same Jesus they had been rejecting was the one who had healed this man
In other words, they had been rejecting this same opportunity for healing and life
Note the contrast - they asked for a “murderer” and killed the “source of life”
Acts 3:19–21 CSB
19 Therefore repent and turn back, so that your sins may be wiped out, 20 that seasons of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send Jesus, who has been appointed for you as the Messiah. 21 Heaven must receive him until the time of the restoration of all things, which God spoke about through his holy prophets from the beginning.
Peter extends the offer to the crowd - they can receive what this man has received by receiving Jesus
Healing and life in Jesus is received by rejecting sin, which leads to death
Romans 6:21,23 So what fruit was produced then from the things you are now ashamed of? The outcome of those things is death… 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
This present “season of refreshing” is only a first taste of the hope we have in Jesus (verse 21)
Acts 3:25–26 CSB
25 You are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant that God made with your ancestors, saying to Abraham, And all the families of the earth will be blessed through your offspring. 26 God raised up his servant and sent him first to you to bless you by turning each of you from your evil ways.”
Throughout this whole interaction, Peter has focused on building Jesus’ reputation in the people’s minds
Now he focuses on their unique opportunity to hear and receive Jesus
It is urgent - the time is now
“bless you by turning each of you...” - in other words, Jesus has come to save them from themselves

APPLY

[Pose the following questions for group discussion, offering the suggested answers below only if the group has nothing to say or drifts too far off topic]

What are the “big ideas” you see in this passage?

Suggested “big ideas”
The priority in sharing the gospel is to get people focused on Jesus, not us
Receiving Jesus and repenting of sin is an urgent matter - not something we can get around to later

How do these ideas apply in your life? or what may be some next steps for you?

Suggested applications or next steps
If I am going to share the Gospel, I have to let go of the desire to improve or even maintain my own reputation
I need to see my own life as a testimony about Jesus and consider how it reflects on Him

REFLECT

Prayer Point

Pray that God would use us as living testimonies to the power of Jesus

Devotional Question

What desires or emotional needs will you have to release in order to point people to Jesus?
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