In yesterday's reading, a crippled man is healed when Peter commands him to stand and walk in the name of Jesus.
As we continue the story today, we see the utterly astonished crowd struggling to understand.
Peter wants them to know that the healing they have witnessed is not done through the power of their own. No, the power for healing comes from the name of Jesus.
He then retells the story of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. He tells the crowd Jesus was crucified because they rejected the “Author of life” (verse 15) when he walked in their midst.
Peter tells the crowd they rejected Jesus, but he does not shame or condemn them. Instead, he says,
“I know you acted in ignorance, as did your leaders’"
The word translated "ignorance" is used one other time in Acts. When Paul is addressing the crowd in Athens he says,
“While God has overlooked the times of human ignorance, now he commands all people everywhere to repent”
Neither Peter nor Paul judge or blame those they are speaking to for their ignorance. Instead, they tell their audiences new information, how God has acted decisively in Jesus Christ, and how this new information demands they make a change in their life. Now that they know about Jesus, it’s time to repent.
One of the most important things I have learned is that repentance is not a one-time event.
Instead, repentance is called for over and over again as we
“work out our salvation”
) and discover areas of our lives we have not yet wholly given over to Christ.