Today’s Journey Through Scripture Readings: Nehemiah 7-9; Acts 3
17 “Brothers and sisters, I know you acted in ignorance. So did your rulers. 18 But this is how God fulfilled what he foretold through all the prophets: that his Christ would suffer. 19 Change your hearts and lives! Turn back to God so that your sins may be wiped away. 20 Then the Lord will provide a season of relief from the distress of this age and he will send Jesus, whom he handpicked to be your Christ. 21 Jesus must remain in heaven until the restoration of all things, about which God spoke long ago through his holy prophets. 22 Moses said, The Lord your God will raise up from your own people a prophet like me. Listen to whatever he tells you. 23 Whoever doesn’t listen to that prophet will be totally cut off from the people. 24 All the prophets who spoke—from Samuel forward—announced these days. 25 You are the heirs of the prophets and the covenant that God made with your ancestors when he told Abraham, Through your descendants, all the families on earth will be blessed. 26 After God raised his servant, he sent him to you first—to bless you by enabling each of you to turn from your evil ways.” (Acts 3:17-26, Common English Bible)
It is a short passage. It is right around 200 words. But friends, there is a great deal packed into those 200 words. It makes me want to say to my high school English teacher, “See, you can to put enough into 200 words (in this case 500 words was the floor, you could write more but don’t write less).” But then again, some of my seminary professors game me 200-word assignments (that wasn’t the floor, it was the ceiling). Here God shows an extraordinary ability to put a lot into a tiny space.
Change your hearts and lives, turn back to God so your sins will be wiped away. God will send Jesus, one handpicked by God to be the Messiah. Whoever doesn’t listen to that prophet (Jesus) will be totally cut off from the people. All the prophets spoke, pointing to these days. Through those gathered, their descendants (us) will be blessed.
When I first read the passage my eyes zoomed in on “You are heirs with the prophets. Peter’s words here in Luke express to us that our relationship with the Risen Christ, because of our acceptance of him, we are part of the covenant that dates all the way back to Abraham. That like Abraham, we are blessed to be a blessing. Like Abraham, our descendants, while not as many as Abraham, still have or will have numerous descendants. All of them are heirs to the prophets, heirs to what Jesus did.
This passage got me to thinking about my maternal grandmother. She has five children, the two oldest are actually stepchildren but she has always treated them with the respect due them and the same can be said for her treatment by them. I am the oldest of her grandchildren. I also have a sister. There are ten other grandchildren. All told, from my mother and her siblings to the youngest child, there are 60 of us. And we are all heirs to the promise.
Have a blessed day in the Lord,
Copyright 2018, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved