“And as the lame man which was healed held Peter and John, all the people ran together unto them in the porch that is called Solomon’s, greatly wondering. And when Peter saw it, he answered unto the people, Ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this? or why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk?” (Acts 3:11–12, AV)
What happened to you? You have certainly changed. In 1983 the Lord saved me while reading a Gideon placed Bible in a hotel room in Minneapolis Minnesota. The company I worked for at the time was headquartered in Zurich Switzerland. As I worked for the managing director who was in Zurich, I only saw him when I travelled to Europe or he travelled here.
Shortly after my conversion, I travelled to Switzerland for a business meeting. He invited me to join him and his girlfriend for dinner. During the dinner, he said something that somewhat startled me. He stated, “You really have changed.” The transformation that Christ brought about in my life was evident. The Scripture tells us that anyone who is in Christ is a new creation (2 Cor 5:17).
In the episode with Peter and the healing of the lame beggar, we see a powerful truth. The people who watched, stood amazed at what happened. They just could not grasp how it had happened. Peter, seeing their response, worries that the crowd might think that he and John did the healing, as if they were some sort of super human beings. Let us view some of the key points here.
First, we have the reaction of the crowd. They are amazed to see the beggar stand and walk. When the Lord touches the life of those afflicted and raises them up from their brokenness, the onlookers are normally puzzled. When Christ saves a person, He also transforms the person (2 Cor 5:17). This transformation is evident, especially to those that know the person well. Most often, the transformation is puzzling; friends and acquaintances do not understand what happened. I know a person whom Christ saved that went back to visit some old acquaintances. They made comments like this, “You really have changed. You really are different.” The words indicated that they marveled at the transformation. However, they did not understand what caused the transformation and thus they were puzzled.
Second, we have Peter’s response to their reaction. When onlookers wonder or marvel at the transformation wrought by Christ in the life of a person, it is an opportunity to explain the power of the gospel. Peter takes this opportunity to proclaim the gospel message to the crowd. In this he is careful not to glorify himself, but to turn the crowds’ focus to Christ. Peter demonstrates a humble servant who proclaims the truth that exalts the Lord Jesus Christ. His message explained the transformational power of Jesus.
When a person experiences true conversion, his or her life changes. He or she becomes a new creature in Christ. The transformation of the believer is a living testimony of the reality of power of the gospel. Christ saves sinners and the result is the miraculous transformation of the one saved. When God saves, He transforms, and people notice.