The second sermon in the book of Acts: Acts 3:1-4:4 (specifically, Acts 3:12-26).
Setting: Jerusalem, in the temple
Preceding Events: Peter, through the power of Jesus, heals a man who was crippled from birth.
Overall Theme: Jesus, God’s servant, was foretold in the Old Testament. His execution at the hands of ignorant people was part of God’s plan, as was his rising from the dead.
Scripture Quoted: Deuteronomy 18:15, 18, 19, Genesis 22:18; 26:4
Central Teaching: Jesus’ name has the power to heal.
Subsequent Events: Peter is interrupted by the temple guards and he and John are thrown in prison, yet thousands more believe in Jesus.
Key Lesson: A miraculous healing provides an opportunity for truth about Jesus to be shared, which results in mass conversions.
If, at church, you saw a wheelchair-bound man get up and walk, what would you think?
Jesus came to heal and to save; that was his mission and his purpose.
At that time, the people largely accepted Jesus’ healing ministry, but not so much his saving ministry.
Today, it is the opposite, with his followers accepting his saving ministry, but not so much his healing ministry.
There is a wonderful story that covers both of his ministries in one account:
A paralyzed man is carried to Jesus. His need seems self-evident — to walk. Yet, Jesus’ first response is to forgive the man of his sins. (Forgiving his sins, made him right with God, thereby saving him.)
The religious elite are aghast at Jesus’ audacity.
Then to prove his authority to forgive sins, Jesus also heals the man — who then gets up and walks home.
Yes, Jesus came to heal and to save. He did it then; he does it today.