Something important is happening as you move through the book of Acts: Luke is building on his presentation. There will be a good bit of repetition, but it is not exact repetition. The speeches, for example, cover the same territory, but they build on one another and supplement one another. The whole purpose, as I wrote yesterday, is to underscore important points Luke wants to make.
When we come to chapter three, the first thing that comes to my mind is the story of Jesus. In Luke 5:16, the writer tells us Jesus often goes to lonely places and prays. In the following verses, Jesus heals a man who cannot walk. The result of this is opposition to Jesus. As chapter three of Acts opens, we find the disciples going to prayer, healing a lame man and a resultant opposition to their work.
Is it an exact repetition?
But there is enough of it there to show us that the disciples are following in Jesus’ footsteps. What we are beginning to see is the now ascended Jesus speaking, teaching, and acting in the lives of His disciples. This is the way it ought to be.
Peter’s speech here builds on the one in chapter two. Earlier he accused his hearers of putting Jesus to death “by nailing him to a cross.” Here, he goes even further: They have disowned the holy and righteous one and killed the author of life. In calling Jesus the “author of life,” Peter (and Luke) have called him God. Peter (and Luke) also add the notion of Jesus’ return and he draws a line in the sand he has not drawn before: accept Jesus, or be cut off from the people of God.
The followers of Jesus are bolder than we have ever seen them, and there is no room for compromise in their teaching. Jesus is a serious Lord, and following Him is serious business.