As you are about to hear in this PODCAST, If you were going to compose a title for this, only the second sermon Peter ever preached, you could not do much better than this: “Let There be No Doubt.”
By the time Peter draws this homiletic masterpiece to its rousing conclusion, there will be no doubt in the minds of his hearers.
No doubt about who Jesus is.
No doubt about who they are.
No doubt about what they have done.
And no doubt about what they now need to do.
“Let There be No Doubt.” A sermon made all the more remarkable given who preached it: an uneducated fisherman who just weeks before had denied, disowned, and so completely denounced Jesus that he quit as a disciple and returned to fishing.
A man who wept bitter/angry tears in the wake of his profound disappointment and deep disillusionment as he watched in horror as Jesus was led away in chains, to be killed as a common criminal by the very people—the barbaric, interloping, country-occupying, universally-hated Romans—whom Peter thought Jesus had come finally to vanquish completely, to expel from the land permanently, and to send sailing back to Italy disgracefully.
To channel Peter’s own words (2 Peter 2), no doubt written with his own dismal failure in mind, Peter had become
“A dog that had returned to its vomit, a washed pig who had returned to the mud.”
Yet in spite of all of that, Jesus met Peter on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, where they had shared so many precious memories together. And there, Jesus graciously gave Peter a second chance.
Yes. Peter! Who had recently pompously proclaimed (in John 13) “I am ready to die for you.”
Yes. Peter! Who then proceeded on that same night to completely collapse under the gaze of a servant girl.
Yes. Peter! Who for a second time was asked by Jesus to “Follow Me,” this time with the caveat that if Peter said “Yes” to that offer, it would cost him his life.
Now, barely two months later, here in Acts 3. Yes. Peter! Who now would make good on Jesus’ offer by literally putting his life on line as he stood before thousands, and thundered in the Temple courts for all to hear these extraordinary words…
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