The Inbreaking of the Kingdom – Acts 3:11-26 (Class #9, 3/8/09)

Here is the summary of our discussion for class #9 in our Acts study at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Austin, TX.  The title of the course is “A New Kind of Conquest” (see blog categories below). For the outline of Acts we are using, see here, and for more info please contact Matt.

“Peter’s interpretive word”

In our previous discussion(s) of the event of Pentecost, we paid close attention to the character that the Jewish Feast of the same name. In particular we noticed that at the heart of this feast was the idea of “first fruits,” a term which occurs several places in the NT, in particular in Paul’s writing. The idea here is that the Feast of Pentecost was a time for the people of Israel to offer back to God the initial portion, the “first fruits,” of the harvest. In doing this they were saying two things: “Thanks, God, for this gift,” and also, “Now, please, God, may there be much more of this harvest to follow.”

There is a very important word in this current passage we are considering, Acts 3:11-26, which occurs in verse 15. It is the word archegos, which is very cognate with the Greek word for “first fruits,” (aparchen). These words share a common root: the word arche, which has a wide semantic range which can include “ruler” or “beginning.”

In this verse Jesus is referred to as the archegos, or the Pioneer, or the Founder, of the Author, of life. What it is saying that Jesus in the first human to “bust out: into the new realm of “heaven,” into the new realm of “the Kingdom of God,” into the new realm of “universal restoration,” which very term (Gk. apocatastasis) occurs in 3:21.

So in this passage Peter is interpreting the meaning of the healing of this crippled man. According to Peter,  Jesus, as the Pioneer of the Faith, has entered into the new world of total restoration and holistic shalom by his resurrectin and ascension, and therefore his followers Peter and John, who have Jesus’ same spirit, have been agents through which this “perfect health” (verse 16) was given or restored to this crippled man.

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Matt —

In the outline you mailed last week for Acts 3:11-26, the last item was, as I recall, “repentance and forgiveness.” I’d be very interested in the discussion of this as it relates to “wholistic healing.” — Marjie

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