11 Now as the lame man who was healed held on to Peter and John, all the people ran together to them in the porch which is called Solomon’s, greatly amazed. 12 So when Peter saw it, he responded to the people: “Men of Israel, why do you marvel at this? Or why look so intently at us, as though by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk?
Verses 12-16 establish Jewish responsibility for the death of Christ. This section records the second of seven addresses by Peter (Acts 1:16-22; 2:14-36; 3:12-26; 4:8-12: 10:34-43; 11:4-17; 15:7-11).
Now as the lame man who was healed held on to Peter and John, all the people ran together to them in the porch which is called Solomon’s, greatly amazed.
The healed lame man clung to Peter and John. The crowd rushed toward Solomon’s portico, a set of columns running the length of the wall. The portico or “porch” is a shaded area along the eastern wall of the Court of the Gentiles. The Jews used this area for teaching and commerce.
The healed man was there for all to see as living evidence of God’s healing. This set the scene for Peter’s speech.
So when Peter saw it, he responded to the people:
When Peter saw how the crowd responded to the lame man’s healing, he took that occasion to preach a sermon.
“Men of Israel, why do you marvel at this?
A large crowd gathered because of the healing of the lame man. Peter began his second sermon by asking a couple of why questions to “men of Israel”; that is, to the nation of Israel (3:13, 19-21, 25,26).
Or why look so intently at us, as though by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk?
Servants of God should attribute what God does through them to the proper source. It was evident that God, not the apostles, healed the lame man. Peter did not want to deflect the glory away from what God did for the lame man (Ps 115:1).
Christians should seize opportunities that God places before them.
Peter “responded” to an opportunity the Lord gave him. He seized upon a God-ordained opportunity. God, in His sovereignty, provides each of us with divinely planned moments. We need to recognize them as providentially designed for our lives.
We also need to recognize that no human preacher, no matter how erudite he may be, can do God’s work in his own power. When followers of Christian leaders attribute God’s work to human beings, it diminishes what God does (Jn 3:30). Genuine ministers of God deflect glory from themselves and direct it to God. It is easy to draw a crowd to ourselves. Peter directed people to Jesus, not to himself.