All the people saw him walking and heard him praising God. 10 When they realized he was the lame beggar they had seen so often at the Beautiful Gate, they were absolutely astounded! 11 They all rushed out in amazement to Solomon’s Colonnade, where the man was holding tightly to Peter and John.
12 Peter saw his opportunity and addressed the crowd. “People of Israel,” he said, “what is so surprising about this? And why stare at us as though we had made this man walk by our own power or godliness? 13 For it is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—the God of all our ancestors—who has brought glory to his servant Jesus by doing this. This is the same Jesus whom you handed over and rejected before Pilate, despite Pilate’s decision to release him. 14 You rejected this holy, righteous one and instead demanded the release of a murderer. 15 You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. And we are witnesses of this fact!
16 “Through faith in the name of Jesus, this man was healed—and you know how crippled he was before. Faith in Jesus’ name has healed him before your very eyes. – Acts 3:9-16 [NLT]
Do you enjoy asking questions? Are you good at it? I love to ask questions. It’s an art that I’ve sought to develop over the years. Some say I’m pretty good at it. Questions can probe a false belief to test it’s strength. Questions can frame a discussion for one purpose or another. It may be an overreach to say that there is no such thing as an unbiased question. But most questions carry with them a motive or bias of understanding and intent.
Peter asks a question here that is on my list of the top ten questions in the Bible. Peter asks, “what is so surprising about this? And why stare at us as though we had made this man walk by our own power or godliness?” While it is actually two questions the two are related, and the follow-up tells us of his motive for asking the first.
The answer to the first question is obvious to me. I’d say, “Because this guy was lame and constantly begging for money. Now he’s healed and praising God! This is unusual.” I’d be tempted to add, “Duh!” But Peter doesn’t really want an answer to the first question. He is more interested in engaging the people to think about the second question. He asks, in effect, “Do you think we did this?”
While they may be ready to deny Peter’s ability to perform such a miracle, they’re not necessarily really ready for the alternative. No, Peter and John didn’t do this. God did it. Jesus’ name, and faith in him were the instruments of miraculous healing. Jesus is at work and he wants his work to impact the lives of healed lame men and also those who hear of that healing, and see the man now healed and walking. So Peter asks the question to engage them in that discovery.
What question would Peter ask you? What would God want to reveal in your heart, your faith, and your world view? Is there something you might reexamine, reconsider, and repent of? That’s between you and the Holy Spirit. But for now, I do leave you with the question: “Do these words stir something in you that needs your attention and God’s grace?