Acts and Mission 16

Leaping.jpgThe Book of Acts records the missional work of God in various cities in the Roman Empire. Acts 3 is the story of a healing, the people praising God, and Peter’s clarification of what God is doing. As we read the Book of Acts in search of missional theology, we are reading The Acts of the Apostles (Abingdon New Testament Commentaries)
as our guide.

Again, event leads to Word, miracle leads to explanation — by Peter. First, Peter witnesses to Jesus as the Author of Life at work in the healing; second, God is now giving them a chance to respond prior to the Second Coming, and third:



For Moses said, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet
like me from among your own people; you must listen to everything he
tells you. Anyone who does not listen to him will be completely cut off from among his people.’”Indeed, all the prophets from Samuel on, as many as have spoken, have foretold these days. And you are heirs of the prophets and of the covenant God made with your
fathers. He said to Abraham, ‘Through your offspring all peoples on
earth will be blessed. ‘When God raised up his servant, he sent him first to you to bless you by turning each of you from your wicked ways
(Acts 3:22-26).

The witness to what God was doing in the healing continues, and it’s all about Jesus Christ. Moses predicted the prophet and Jesus is that prophet, Peter is explaining to them. In fact, the prophets were all focused on the Christ event.

Peter challenges his readers with this: you are in God’s people, Israel, if you respond to Jesus as Messiah.

Missional gospel emerges out of and is nested in the Story of God with Israel. The prophetic witness is a witness to Christ — missional witness then is only properly missional when it witnesses to Jesus as the climax of Israel’s Story. Social justice, in other words, is not enough. Missional is only properly Christian when it gets connected to Jesus.

  • Patrick O

    “The prophetic witness is a witness to Christ — missional witness then is only properly missional when it witnesses to Jesus as the climax of Israel’s Story”
    Through the power of the Holy Spirit, who affects how and what and even where.
    That’s a big part of Acts–making the absolute connection between being about Christ, through the Spirit. Just talking about Jesus isn’t enough (Acts 8:14ff; 16:6; 19:2ff. for example).
    This is, I think, a big piece missing from a lot of missional/evangelistic endeavors.

  • Patrick O

    The first trait of the Spirit among us, to be sure, is that the Spirit always points towards Jesus, just as Jesus pointed towards the Father.

  • http://michaeldefazio.wordpress.com Michael DeFazio

    So would it also be right to add to the end of your post “and Jesus is only Jesus when he gets properly connected to Israel”?
    I love it, but I have one question. I’d love to hear how someone has actually shared Jesus in this way with someone who didn’t know him at all. I’ve tried and I always end up looking silly (and they look confused).

  • http://michaeldefazio.wordpress.com Michael DeFazio

    Clarification – by sharing Jesus this way I mean doing so in relation to Israel. And let the focus be not on how Jesus is connected to Israel but how we can present Jesus in this way to people who know nothing of any of this.

  • MinorProphet

    yes, Jesus is what “all” the law and the prophets foretold and the Holy Spirit signifies in HIM. “All” was to be fulfilled by Him when, and as He [and all the apostles] said would take place; IN context. I humble suggest… could that context be the first century?
    Did “soon”, “at hand” and “this generation” really mean what these men [and God] said?
    If so, what ARE the implications of that kind of fulfilled prophecy?


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