At the end of chapter 2 last week, the disciples were enjoying the warmth of their community (koinonia) - shared meals, prayers, unity, and so on. In chapter 3, however, we read how they leave this coziness behind and go straight to work.
The narrative begins with Peter and John going to the temple for prayer. At the gate, they encounter a crippled man, begging for money. They don't have any money so they give him something far better...healing in the name of Jesus Christ. Having received the fullness of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, as well as the gift of a Spirit-filled community with which to live, Peter is now beginning to live more fully into Jesus' calling. In fact, throughout chapter 3, Peter's healing of the crippled man and preaching to those in the temple bears an incredibly strong resemblance to what we read about Jesus in the gospels.
The man is told to "rise up and walk"...and he does.
The people witness this healing...and are "filled with amazement and surprise."
The people are called to, "Change your hearts and lives! Turn back to God so that your sins may be wiped away."
Peter might now be the one healing and preaching, but it is the saving power of Jesus Christ at work through him...not the work of his own hand.
In the name of Jesus, we too are called to heal the brokenhearted and proclaim good news to the poor...which brings to mind these lyrics from David Crowder:
"Where there is pain
Let us bring grace
Where there is suffering
For those afraid
Let us be brave
Where there is misery
Let us bring them relief
And surely we can change
Surely we can change
Oh surely we can change