Preaching in Solomon’s Colonnade
Open Your Bible
Acts 3:1-26, Deuteronomy 18:17-19, 1 Corinthians 15:1-5
BY Jen Yokel
“We need to talk.” Perhaps we can all relate to the inner cringe that happens when you hear these words or read them in a text message. Sometimes it’s nothing, but often it’s the prelude to a hard conversation. Conflict is part of making life together, and healthy relationships mean calling each other out from time to time. When done from a place of love and respect, hard conversations can be the start of great healing. That’s what we see happening in Peter’s electrifying sermon at Solomon’s Colonnade.
As Peter and John arrived for afternoon prayer, they met a man who was “lame from birth” (Acts 3:2), a daily sight at the temple gate. He asked for spare change, but Peter gave him something far more valuable—healing for his broken body. And of course, the crowd noticed. This once invisible beggar was “walking, leaping, and praising God,” and “they were filled with awe and astonishment at what had happened to him” (Acts 3:8,10).
No doubt Jerusalem was still buzzing with rumors about Jesus’s resurrection. And here, once again, miracles were springing up around two of Jesus’s closest followers. And this is where Peter starts a sermon that might as well begin, “We need to talk.”
“The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our ancestors, has glorified his servant Jesus,” Peter claims before issuing a volley of strong accusations. “You,” he says to these devout worshippers, “handed [him] over…You denied the Holy and Righteous One…You killed the source of life, whom God raised from the dead” (vv.13–15).
But even these strong words can’t break their familial bond. He calls them “brothers and sisters,” even as he begs them to “repent and turn back, so that your sins may be wiped out, that seasons of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord” (vv.17,19–20). He calls them fellow Israelites, appealing to the heritage and promise they share.
It’s a striking response. But Peter knows what it is to be forgiven, to repent, to be refreshed.
Though they killed the Source of life, an invitation to resurrection awaits. Though it would make sense for His closest friends and followers to cut them off, Peter calls them family. Though feeling the weight of sin called out can bring a whole set of painful emotions—shame, guilt, embarrassment, and regret—Peter’s sermon is a reminder that it doesn’t have to mean the fracturing of relationships. This calling back into community, to repentance, is one more step toward healing and restoration.
The good news of Jesus’s resurrection is victory over death, not just in our bodies. There’s hope for the healing of everything broken and an opportunity to restore humanity to life.