The Book of Acts records the missional work of God in various cities in the Roman Empire. Acts 3 is the story of a healing, the people praising God, and Peter’s clarification of what God is doing. As we read the Book of Acts in search of missional theology, we are reading The Acts of the Apostles (Abingdon New Testament Commentaries)
as our guide.
Peter interprets the healing event in Word. First, as we saw yesterday, he points (missionally important) to Jesus as the Author of Life who is at work to heal this man. Second, he clarifies who this Jesus is, showing that gospeling is always focused on Jesus Christ (cf. 3:17-21):
“Now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did your leaders. But this is how God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, saying that his Christ would suffer. Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that he may send the Christ, who has been appointed for you–even Jesus. He must remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets.
Peter’s concern is the group of folks who put Jesus to death not all that long ago. They were ignorant of whom they put to death. They did not know that the OT pointed to the Messiah’s death, and here is probably thinking of Isa 52-53.
Peter, like all early Christian missional gospelers, focuses on the need for humans to repent. They are to repent from what they have done.
And gospeling means promising people that if they do repent they will be forgiven and the eschatological blessings of God will come — forgiveness and eschatological promise give shape to missional work. This eschatological blessing is found in Acts 2:42-47 and precedes the Second Coming — it refers to the blessings of God in the Church.
And also hope: hope for the Second Coming. The eschatology that shapes early Christian missional work believed that God’s Kingdom would come, and they lived in light of that.