Explore the Bible Sunday School Lesson for June 23

Here’s the Explore the Bible Sunday School lesson commentary for June 23, written by Mark Rathel, professor at the Baptist College of Florida in Graceville, Florida.

Explore the Bible Sunday School Lesson for June 23

PLACED

Acts 3:12–26

Have you ever thought of your prayer time as providing a potential witness for Jesus? Acts 3 describes a miracle that occurred at a temple gate called Beautiful. In God’s timing, Peter and John found one of the three times of Jewish prayer an opportune time to share the gospel of Jesus.

God may give us an opportunity to share the gospel at work, at school or in our neighborhoods through our prayer lives.

Recognize (12–16)

In Acts, not only Peter and John but also Phillip (8:7) and Paul (14:8–10) healed the lame, thus continuing the ministry of Jesus. Acts 3:1–11 provides the context for one amazing miracle.

Either an individual or a group placed a particular lame man each day at the temple gate called Beautiful so he could beg from worshippers entering the temple.

The passage of time surely impacted this man’s expectations of his daily position at the gate and tempted him to give up.

Peter and John encountered the man, but they lacked monetary means to help him. The duo offered him something other than silver and gold. They offered the man Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Peter commanded him to walk in the name of Jesus and helped him stand, and his feet and legs were strengthened. The man walked, leaped and praised God. The miracle created a sense of awe and astonishment within the crowd.

Due to the response of the crowd, Peter viewed this as an opportune time to share the message about Jesus. He directed attention away from himself to God and God’s servant, Jesus. Then Peter preached a message about Jesus. The Israelites had handed Jesus over to Pilate for execution. In so doing, they rejected the Holy and Righteous One and asked Pilate to release a murderer. Peter claimed the Hebrews had killed the Source of life. The Greek word translated “source of life” is an interesting word. The term has the connotation of a pioneer or founding leader. In the New Testament the term only describes the risen Jesus. As the firstborn from the dead, Jesus is the Source of life.

Repent (17–21)

Peter acknowledged to the Jewish crowd that the leadership had acted in ignorance of Jesus’ identity. Yet their ignorance was not an excuse. The American legal system operates on the same principle, as I learned when I faced a judge due to a traffic violation. American jurisprudence recognizes that “ignorance of the law is no excuse.” God expects us to “repent and turn back” for the purpose of wiping away sins.

Jesus ascended into heaven until the time of the restoration of all things, which the Old Testament prophets had predicted.

Remember (22–26)

Moses predicted that God would raise up a prophet like himself. Moses commanded the people to listen to every word of the predicted prophet. Failure to listen would result in being cut off from God’s people. Samuel and other prophets predicted “these days” — the days of Jesus.

Remember that God is active in our lives in order to bless others. All the families of the earth have been blessed by God raising Jesus as they repent and turn from their evil ways.


By Mark Rathel
Professor at the Baptist College of Florida in Graceville, Florida

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