“The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified His servant Jesus… For you first, God raised up His Servant and sent Him to bless you by turning every one of you from your wicked ways,” (3:13, 26).
A miracle of epic proportions has transpired.
And a man who had been lame from his mother’s womb…8 With a leap he stood upright and began to walk; and he entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God, (3:2, 8).
And everyone saw it; and everyone knew of his lifelong handicap; and everyone was amazed.
And all the people saw him walking and praising God; 10 and they were taking note of him as being the one who used to sit at the Beautiful Gate of the temple to beg alms, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him, (3:9-10).
And Peter wastes no time and minces no words. He does not draw attention to himself or the other followers of Jesus. He does not ask for compensation (although he quite possibly could have used it, as he had nothing to offer the man… monetarily).
And with the crowd gathering, perhaps some of the same crowd that had yelled with the throng, “Crucify Him;” Peter directs their attention towards His Servant, Jesus.
It’s interesting to note the word Peter uses to describe Jesus, in this his second recorded sermon in the book of Acts.
Servant: 3816. παίς país; A child in relation to descent; a boy or girl in relation to age; a manservant, attendant, maid in relation to cultural condition. Spoken of all ages from infancy up to full–grown youth… Boy, servant… Particularly and generally, equivalent to doúlos (1401), a servant, slave… An attendant, minister, as of a king, (from Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance).
When we contemplate the crowd who was gathered listening to Peter, his choice of the word, “Servant” is even more surprising. The Jews had long awaited their promised deliverer. Living under the reign of the Roman government, the Jews were convinced their Messiah would overthrow the tyranny of Roman rule, set up His kingdom, and then they, as God’s chosen people, would surely be the ones on top, the ones in charge alongside their newly established King.
But instead, Peter draws their attention to Jesus, (the Christ and the anointed One of God proven by His resurrection and witnessed by many), as God’s Servant. A word used to describe a child, a slave, a minister of the King.
This did not fit the Jewish paradigm whatsoever. They were expecting a King and Conqueror to rise up and deliver them, not a crucified Servant. And perhaps that’s exactly why Peter emphasized this aspect of his Risen and Glorified, Savior. Faith in God’s ways, in His foreordained plan, often goes against human reasoning.
Consider His Servant, Jesus
His Servant, Jesus: delivered and disowned by His own, (3:13).
His Servant, Jesus: Holy and Righteous, (3:14).
His Servant, Jesus: put to death and raised to life by God, (3:15).
His Servant, Jesus: the Source and Prince of life, (3:15).
His Servant, Jesus: the Name which delivers strength and health, (3:16).
His Servant, Jesus: suffered to fulfill God’s prophecies, (3:18).
His Servant, Jesus: wipes away our sins in order to send His refreshing touch, (3:19).
His Servant, Jesus: raised up from His brethren, (3:22).
His Servant, Jesus: raised up to bless and turn us from our wicked ways, (3:26).
How do we respond to His Servant, Jesus?
Not being able to fully explain the why’s of His plan of salvation does not invalidate His design for our redemption. God sent Jesus as His Servant to be a ransom for all who would believe.
“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many,” (Mark 10:45).
Today, if you are unsure of your eternal destiny, stop now and pray. Agree with what His word declares about every human ever born, and His only remedy provided.
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (Romans 3:23).
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord, (Romans 6:23).
Though the world may take umbrage with the message of a Savior Who came to Serve and die for our sins matters not. What matters is the truth.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me,” (John 14:6).
Today, come to the Father through His Servant, Jesus, and receive His eternal life.
And when we come to Him by faith, His desire is that we experience His Presence, daily. If we belong to Him by faith and yet we sense a distance, let us accept the invitation of His Servant, Jesus to repent and return in faith, to again experience the promise of His refreshing presence.
“Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord; 20 and that He may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you,” (3:19).
Although we don’t fully comprehend His ways, we can fully trust Him Who is all-knowing and perfect. And that He sent Jesus to our world as His Servant, in no wise diminishes His glory or majesty.
“The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified His servant Jesus, …Jesus, the Christ appointed for you, 21 whom heaven must receive until the period of restoration of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient time,” (3:20-21).
His Servant, Jesus, now glorified, has returned to His Father to prepare our eternal dwelling with Him. Until the time He comes again for His own, for all those who have trusted and placed their faith in Him for eternal salvation, let us live confident of His return.
“Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. 3 If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also,” (John 14:1-3).
And while we wait for His return, let us answer His call to intentionally follow His example. May we live as His servants, no matter the cost; that we would bring God glory in living to serve others that they too would come to know His Servant, Jesus.
Sitting down, He called the twelve and said to them, “If anyone wants to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all,” (Mark 9:35).
For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, (1 Peter 2:21).