“Why does this surprise you?”

Acts 3:11-26

After Pentecost Peter and John were walking in the Temple going to pray and were met by a crippled beggar.  The man wanted money but Peter and John shared what they had, faith that Jesus could heal.  The man was healed and praised God.  Peter turned preacher again, turning to the crowd and asked them, “Why does this surprise you?”  Peter then is able to draw the line through recent historical events, the life-crucifixion-resurrection of Jesus and connect the dots with the crowd’s lack of belief.  The ability to connect the dots in historical events is the stuff of the evening news programs.  We are still trying to connect the dots on Covid, on January 6, or the thinking behind Ukraine.  I believe we often will hear, “history will tell if…” because as history unfolds we gain better perspective and understanding on whether we made the right decision today.  History will tell if so and so was a good president.  In fact history speaks to the truth of the Bible!

         Peter puts the healing of the cripple man in the broader context of religious history and prophecy about Jesus.  Spiritual growth, I suspect is being able to see our situation in the bigger plan.  Joseph says to his brothers who out of jealousy sold him into slavery in Egypt, when they are finally reunited.  He is able to say to them, “you meant it for evil but God meant it for good.”  Hebrews 12:15 warns, “See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God, that no root of bitterness springs up and causes trouble and through it many become defiled.”  It is hard to grow spiritually and be at peace if our hearts are chained to some past situation that we have thought about so long that the offense has grown into a relationship breaker.  Take time to sit quietly and ask God to bring to mind any situation you may need to put in a better perspective and repent or forgive.  Perhaps you cannot deal with the actual person but you can repent of your part and ask God to connect the dots for you.  He holds the big picture.  Blessings.

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