Now as the lame man who was healed held on to Peter and John, all the people ran together to them in the porch which is called Solomon’s, greatly amazed. So when Peter saw it, he responded to the people: “Men of Israel, why do you marvel at this? Or why look so intently at us, as though by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? (Acts 3:11-12)
A man had been spectacularly healed at the most public place in Jerusalem, and a crowd quickly gathered. The lame man who was healed held on to Peter and John – but it was not because he could not stand. After all, he was healed! Perhaps he held on to them out of gratitude, or out of fear and surprise. When the people ran together to them and they were all greatly amazed, the formerly lame man probably didn’t know what would happen next.
But Peter knew. When Peter saw it, he responded to the people. Peter wisely took advantage of the gathering crowd. Yet he knew that the miracle in itself brought no one to Jesus, it merely aroused interest. Though they were greatly amazed, they had not yet trusted in Jesus Christ.
This might have been a good time for healing service. Since a lame man was just healed, Peter could have said, “Who else wants a healing from Jesus?” But Peter didn’t lead a healing service.
This might have been a good time for a testimony service, for the healed man certainly had a great experience. Testimonies are wonderful, but even an amazing testimony is not itself the gospel, the good news of God’s salvation in Jesus Christ. The good news is God’s message about who Jesus is and what He did to rescue us, especially what He did at the cross and the empty tomb. A testimony is the story of the work of the gospel, not the gospel itself. Peter didn’t lead a testimony service.
Peter knew that the crowd needed to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ, and a call to repent and believe. Since the healed man didn’t know enough yet to share the gospel, Peter did the talking.
Peter denied that the healing was due to either his power or godliness. Many evangelists or preachers today who would never claim to heal in their own power still give the impression that healing happens because they are so spiritual, so close to God, or so godly. Peter knew that it was all of Jesus and nothing was of him.
Peter knew that saving faith does not come by seeing or hearing about miracles, rather faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17). Your testimony is great – praise God for it. God’s works of power are wonderful, and we celebrate them. But let the word of God and the good news of Jesus Christ be the core of our message to a lost and needy world.