Peter Speaks in Solomon’s Portico Continued
17 “And now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers.18 But what God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ would suffer, he thus fulfilled. 19 Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, 20 that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, 21 whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago.
22 Moses said,
‘The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brothers. You shall listen to him in whatever he tells you. 23 And it shall be that every soul who does not listen to that prophet shall be destroyed from the people.’
24 And all the prophets who have spoken, from Samuel and those who came after him, also proclaimed these days. 25 You are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant that God made with your fathers, saying to Abraham, ‘And in your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed.’26 God, having raised up his servant, sent him to you first, to bless you by turning every one of you from your wickedness.”
Observations and Reflections
The portico that Peter is speaking in is fully described in the previous post on this passage which can be read at the following link:
For a mini-description, it’s a porch in the outer court of the Temple complex, right after you enter the gate, “called beautiful”.
Peter’s sermon content thus far has been anything but pleasurable. After the crowds marveled at the healed beggar, Peter went on to remind them that the one they recently crucified is the one who healed this man. But hope is not lost. If they repent, God will be faithful to forgive them. For it was God’s plan all along to have Jesus betrayed and crucified for the sins of man.
Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, 20 that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, 21 whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago.
What is interesting about this preaching by Peter is that he seems to be indicating that Jesus would be returning soon, IF the Jews repented.
“that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus”
Does Peter believe that Israel’s repentance would usher in the Day of the Lord? It appears that that is true and it would not be uncommon in Jewish thinking and theology. It was commonly thought that Israel’s estrangement from God would be restored when they collectively returned to Yahweh. This thought is furthered by the phrase in verse 21.
“whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things”
Clearly Peter is reinforcing the commonly held Jewish belief and not referring to a generic salvation (born again) theological idea. He is referring to a literal returning of the Christ.
Peter is once again speaking to the truths about how sin lead Jesus Christ to the cross. This is a crowd that had just witnessed God’s powerful hand at work and Peter is waisting no time in pointing this miracle back to God.
He keeps reiterating the same message about the role they played in the death of Jesus because he wants for them to understand that sin is what caused the hate towards Jesus Christ and how it is not too late to rectify what has been done. The time for repentance and turning away from sin is now. The Gospel has been foretold from long ago and it was time they understood and believed that the true Messiah has already come and put an end to sin’s hold on our lives.
The truths that Peter speaks of concerning the old testament are truths that his audience heavily relied on. He needed to prove to them that he was not speaking of his own accord but by what has already been prophesied. He is trying to convey that what happened with Jesus, corresponds exactly to what their old testament leaders spoke of.
The Gospel was real, the death and resurrection of Jesus had taken place. This was a time in which they either chose to believe it or not. God was acting in a new and powerful way from that of the old testament. There was now a way in which each and every individual can have a He had enacted His greatest plan of redemption for the entire world and the leaders that He was raising up for not just for the Jewish nation anymore. They were to speak to the entire world and every nation that God lead them too.
At the end of this passage, Peter states the heart of the matter in which Jesus Christ was sent as a means to bless them which came as result of dying on the cross and turning their hearts from wickedness and towards His goodness. This is a blessing that is still available to us today. God opened up a gateway in which we can have an all access pass to Him and the blessings that He has in store for us through an on going relationship with Him.