Acts 3:12-19 - Capitalizing on righteousness

Updated: Apr 1

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Peter addressed the people, “You Israelites, why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we had made him walk? The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our ancestors has glorified his servant Jesus, whom you handed over and rejected in the presence of Pilate, though he had decided to release him. But you rejected the Holy and Righteous One and asked to have a murderer given to you, and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses. And by faith in his name, his name itself has made this man strong, whom you see and know; and the faith that is through Jesus has given him this perfect health in the presence of all of you.


“And now, friends, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers. In this way God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, that his Messiah would suffer. Repent therefore, and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out.”


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This is the mandatory reading from the Acts of the Apostles for the third Sunday of Easter, Year B, according to the lectionary of the Episcopal Church. It will precede Psalm 4, which will sing out the verse that says, “Know that the Lord does wonders for the faithful; when I call upon the Lord, he will hear me.” A reading from First John will then follow, which says, “Beloved, we are God's children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed.” Finally, the reading will accompany a Gospel reading from Luke, where Jesus said, “Touch me and see; for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.”


In this reading selection, the story told prior had Peter and John (of Zebedee) going to the temple for the morning prayer, where they came to a lame-from-birth beggar had been set upon a mat at the gate outside. The beggar asked them for alms. When Peter told him he had no silver or gold to give, but in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth he commanded the man to walk; He did. And then he leaped and praised Yahweh. This led to a gathering around Peter, John and the healed man, at Solomon’s porch [or Colonnade]. This is the setting for this reading, although verse 11 is omitted here.


That omitted verse begins with the capitalized Greek word “Kratountos.” It should be realized that all capitalized words (and names) bear divine meaning, which is greater than a simple base meaning. The simple base meanings are those found in translation, which distract one’s brain and keep one from seeing the truth that is clearly visible to the seeker of truth.


The root Greek word from which that written comes is “krateó,” which means “to be strong, rule” (Strong’s definition), but is applied in usage as: “I am strong, mighty, hence: I rule, am master, prevail; I obtain, take hold of; I hold, hold fast.” (Strong’s Usage) The intent of the word is to “to place under one's grasp (seize hold of, put under control).” (HELPS Word-studies) With all that known, the NRSV simple translation has this word say, “he clung,” while the word written is actually the present active participle genitive singular masculine, meaning the past tense [“While he clung”] is wrong. This word is better translated as “[is] Taking hold of.”


The third person aspect added [as “he clung”] then paints a picture of a man that was walking, leaping and praising God, who had been born lame, but is now suddenly clinging to Peter [or John, or both] out of fear of a crowd running towards them. What is stated in the Greek of Luke is this: “Kratountos de autou ton Petron kai ton Iōannēn,” where the word “kai” makes the important statement that says John was equally “Taken hold of.” In that, the word “autou” is translated as “he,” when the word primarily says “self” or “same.” To make that be the healed man, that would make the verse state, “Taking hold of now himself that [or who, which] Peter kai that [or who, which] John.”


While the simple surface translation can imply the healed man clung to Peter and John, the divine realization says the Holy Spirit of Yahweh had “Taken hold of now himself [the healed man] which Peter and which John.” The repetition of "which" ["ton"] then says the "same" state of "self" applied to all three that had been "Taken hold of."


To add to that level of divinity, the names of Peter and John also transform to make divine statements, so the truth of verse 11 is it begins by saying, “Taking hold of the same that Stone and that Yahweh Has Been Gracious,” where “Peter” means “Stone” and “John” means “Yahweh Has Been Gracious” or “Yahweh Is Gracious.” This divine statement says the lame man had become as strong and as devout as would be any Apostle reborn in the name of Jesus Christ.


With this concept grasped, it is them important to see how verse 12 begins with the Greek words [not translated above], “idōn de , ho Petros,” which announces, “having seen now , this Peter.” The NRSV does place this in their translation, as “When Peter saw it,” but this element of “seeing” has been omitted from this reading.


What Peter “had seen” at that point in time [“now”] was the presence of Jesus Christ in three men, who just moments prior had been Jesus only as Peter and John. This also needs to be understood, going into an interpretation of what Peter then said, keeping in mind that Jesus gave Simon a name that meant Stone; a statement that Jesus knew Simon would become the Cornerstone of Christianity, as Jesus reborn.


Another element left out of the above NRSV translation is Peter addressing “Andres,” which is the plural number of the Greek word “anér,” meaning “a male human being; a man, husband.” This one word is set apart by comma marks, such that the capitalization makes this a divine declaration of God addressing “Men.” The elevation points out all Jewish males would be “Husbands,” which not only implied they had wives, but also they had produced offspring in their image. In the same way, Yahweh had His elohim make mankind in their image. The power of one word is then the innate creativity that allows “Men” to act like gods. This address can now be seen as the truth being voiced, which placed those surrounding Peter, John, and a newly healed man as mere "Men," those mortals of the earth, thereby pointing out their failures as gods.


This then leads to the capitalized naming of those “Men” as being “Israelites.” Here, the divine elevation acts as a statement of when Peter and John were going to the temple at 9:00 AM for prayer. Both Peter and John lived in Galilee, with both owning houses where their families lived, near to the sea. The use of “Israelites” as an address says there were more than Jews of Judea gathered at the temple for morning prayer. Since chapter 3 is beyond the Day of Pentecost, one can now assume a leap forward in time has taken place, such that the festival of Sukkot becomes the next commanded reason for pilgrims [“Israelites”] to be those gathered around.[1] Thus, the meaning behind the naming of “Israelites” is “He Retains God” or “God Is Upright.” [Abarim Publications] Thus, Peter addressed the “Men” who have the divine responsibility of bringing forth children into the world, while then raising those children to “Retain God” by forever obeying His Commandments [such as pilgrimage to Jerusalem].


It is then from those divine words being expressed that Peter asked the crowd, “Why do you wonder at this?” What they had witnessed, having all seen a lame beggar asking for alms who then was seen walking and leaping, while praising God as the power that allowed that miracle to his being, was evidence of the Creativity of Yahweh. What they all saw is something all Israelites should expect to see, based on faith in their God.


Peter then asked the crowd of pilgrims, “Why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we had made him walk?” That says Peter knew those pilgrims were looking closely at each of the three, in disbelief, rather than belief. They were known by Peter to be trying to figure out what trick had been pulled on them. Probably, some travelers had given alms to the lame beggar, who now walked and leaped. Most likely, those who gave then wanted what they gave back, thinking the “power” or the “godliness” was little more than smoke and mirrors.

<Poof>and he walked!


In verse 13, Luke wrote a string of capitalized names, which roll off the tongue and disappear, without any thought whatsoever given as to what Peter meant, when he said, “Ho Theos Abraam , kai [ho theos] Isaak , kai [ho theos] Iakōb”. Here, the first word is capitalized, such that “Ho” becomes the divine explanation of “This,” which is the divine miracle of the man born lame being healed. This then names Yahweh as “Theos,” where the capitalization means the One God. This then leads to the capitalization of “Ἀβραὰμ,” which states “of Abram.” The divinity of the genitive case [showing possession] is not then the simplicity of saying Yahweh was “the God” that Abram believed existed, because it states strongly that Abram was “of God,” in the same way the lame man had become “of God,” just like Abram.


This then leads to two segments of words, marked off by commas, which are then followed by the word “kai,” stating two equally powerful examples of who was “of God.” In that, the words “of god” are written in the lower case, with both sets bracketed, meaning they are words implied, rather than outwardly stated. This, the word “kai” importantly implies the same capitalization is the intent of words not spoken. The first becomes importantly “Isaac,” a name that is divinely stating “Laughter,” as that which comes from the joy of praise for the Lord [which the healed man displayed]. The second then importantly states “Jacob,” a name that is divinely stating “He Who Closely Follows” or “Supplanter.” In that name, it was the twin aspect of Jacob’s birth that caused his father to give him that name [which would later become Israel], meaning the healed man had become twin spirits – a soul merged with Yahweh’s Holy Spirit.


By Peter naming Abram, Isaac, and Jacob – three names that roll off the tongue with little thought more than history – he told “Men” who claimed to be “Israelites” the healed man was in touch with Yahweh [“God”], in the same was as “Abram” [a name meaning “Exalted Father”], having become Yahweh’s Son [Jesus reborn], with great “Laughter” and knowledge that his weakness (by birth) had become “Supplanted” by the Holy Spirit.


When Peter said to those pilgrims gathered around, “the God of our ancestors,” he was telling them all that they too should have been reborn as Sons of man, so the healed man would be nothing unusual to behold. It would be like, “Oh look, another one has become one with God.” Ho hum. Move along, nothing new to see here.


It is then that Peter said, “[the God of our ancestors] has glorified his servant Jesus,” which is a two-part statement that says, “has glorified his servant , Jesus.” By the separation, as two statements, Peter said the healed man had been healed by [the God of our ancestors], in evidence by Him having “bestowed his servant” or “honored his servant,” such that the healed man had become a new servant of Yahweh.


In this, the Greek text of Luke has capitalized the word “Paida,” which becomes a divine elevation of the word “Servant.” This means the lame man, like Peter and John, had become a “Son of Yahweh,” having married his soul to His Holy Spirit, completely subjecting to God's Will through marriage. This is, of course, the plan all children of Yahweh should follow, as that marriage brings about the name for that new wife – “Jesus,” the name that states divinely, “Yahweh Will Save” or “Yahweh Saves.” That says ALL who become “Servants of God” become in the name of “Jesus.”


When Peter is then shown to say, “whom you handed over and rejected in the presence of Pilate,” this refers back to the previous Passover week [five months earlier]. Still, here it is worthwhile to note that Peter stated “betrayed” [“paredōkate”] first, following that with a “kai,” placing important emphasis on the acts that “disowned” [“ērnēsasthe”] the Jews from Yahweh. When all Israelites are called upon to “Serve” Yahweh as His Priests, that commitment was betrayed and the right to call themselves the “children of God” was ended through their own acts that brought about their being “disowned.” That disconnect came “in the presence of Pilate,” a name that means, “Freedman.” {Abarim Publications] By turning on the Son of man, all Jews became servants of a “Freedman,” making them free to serve whoever they wished.


It was Pilate who had determined that Jesus should be the one freed, as he found no crimes worthy of punishment. That state is then said by Peter to be when the Jews “rejected the Holy and Righteous One,” which presents the capitalized Greek words “Hagion kai Dikaion ērnēsasthe.” While the simple surface translation leads one to read those words as only being an assessment of Jesus of Nazareth, as the Holy and the Righteous [one] denied,” the reality of the deeper meaning says those shouting to save Barabbas had rejected themselves ever becoming “Holy” [one with Yahweh in marriage] or “Just” [alternative translation to “Righteous”], where all actions one does after marriage to Yahweh becomes “Equal” to His Will.


When Luke then said Peter told the pilgrims they “asked to have a murderer given to you,” that becomes their own choice of justice that made them all to become individually “a murderer.” It was Yahweh who “granted” [or “gave”] them their wish, allowing His Son to die at their hands, as known.


When Peter then said, “you killed the Author of life,” Luke wrote the capitalized Greek word “Archēgon.” According to Strong’s, the root word “archégos” means “founder, leader,” with its usage expanding to be “originator, author, founder, prince, leader.” The capitalization then forces one to look at the Greek word “zōēs,” where “life” becomes a statement of eternal life. To have “killed life” [from “zōēs apekteinate”] means the decision to choose to be a “murderer” made each one become, individually, the “Author” of one’s own demise. To choose death over life means to reject Yahweh and marriage through His Holy Spirit.


When Peter is then shown to state, “whom God raised from the dead,” this makes the reader think only of Jesus of Nazareth, who physically died and came back to life. However, the reality of what Peter said to the Jews and pilgrims was the state of death is what all human beings are born into, as mortal beings. The healed man was in a state of death as a born lame man, forced to beg, after someone moved him into a position to do so. He was given “life” by Yahweh, such that his being “raised up” [“ēgeiren”] to a walking and leaping state of being also meant he had been “raised up” Spiritually, given eternal “life” by becoming a “Servant” of Yahweh – one of His wives.


The NRSV then separates as a new sentence, showing Peter saying, “To this we are witnesses.” The reality is the Greek text shows a comma mark, making a continuation of the statement about “this God has raised up out from dead,” thought to simply be Jesus of Nazareth. By seeing this as a continuation of the prior thought, as a segment of words the point is really saying, “which we witnesses are.” The truth of that statement is Peter was then referring to the healed man and John as “we,” where the state of being “dead” was not only Jesus of Nazareth, but themselves. They all became “witnesses” of being “raised up” from death by having been reborn as Jesus Christ. They were sacrificed ["martyrs" of "witness"] to Yahweh as His wives, having then given rebirth to His Son, who they all knew to be alive within their bodies of flesh.


Peter then turns what seems to have been a dissertation about his personal condemnation on the Jews, for having killed Jesus, who Peter and John personally saw alive after burial, to statements about the healed man. Peter is shown to say: “And by faith in his name, his name itself has made this man strong, whom you see and know; and the faith that is through Jesus has given him this perfect health in the presence of all of you.” This series of thoughts begins with the capitalized word “Kai,” making all of this important to look more closely at, in order to see major importance being stated.


The capitalized “Kai” follows Peter having said “we are witnesses,” which must be realized as him including the healed man in "we." Knowing that inclusion, he is reflected in the importance that is having faith [from “pistei”], which is a divine level of experience that goes beyond simple belief. Being a “witness” is thereby a personal experience that comes when one is “in the name of him,” where the Greek word translating as “name” [“onomatos”] means, “in the authority, cause, fame, character, and/or reputation” that goes by the “name” Jesus [meaning “Yahweh Saves”].


When people wag their tongues and utter the words “faith healer,” they are diluting the meaning of true “faith.” Faith does not mean healing, but “strength” that comes only from the presence of Yahweh’s Holy Spirit within. That presence brings about His Son’s Spirit, so all so filled become Jesus reborn; and, the name of Jesus gives one strength. In that case, the man who had been lame became in “perfect health,” which is translated from the Greek word “holoklērian.”


The word “holoklērian” actually means “soundness, completeness,” (Strong’s Definition) which implies a “wholeness” and “unimpaired health. (HELPS Word-studies) While the man was healed in this instance (like others who had been healed by Jesus), “faith” is the completeness of a woman joining with her Husband, so that together they become One Spirit. When Jesus said, "you faith has healed you," those so healed had become one with Yahweh. Regardless of one’s flesh surrounding its soul, it is the “unimpaired health” of a soul that grants a soul eternal life, no matter how diseased the body of one possessing true faith is. [See the story of Job.]


Luke then tells of Peter saying, “And now, friends, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers.” In this, we again find it begun by a capitalized “Kai,” showing divine importance was then being stated by Peter. The word translated as “friends” is “adelphoi,” which says “brothers.” As this follows Peter telling about the healed man demonstrating his amazing new health before those watching, he was then declaring the healed man to be a “brother” to him and John. This was not because he was a male, but because they all were related by “name.” They were all reborn as Jesus, all Sons of man.


It is from this presence of the Christ Mind that Peter knew the hearts and minds of those pilgrims, knowing their actions were based on their lack of awareness [“ignorance” or “agnoian”]. Peter knew as Jesus reborn, with God’s Mind at his disposal, allowing him to tell their actions were directed by their “rulers” [“archontes”], who were the Sanhedrin. Because they acted “as” their leaders willed, their leaders were equally lacking any knowledge of value. Ignorant leaders beget ignorant followers.


From this statement of ignorance, Peter then said, “In this way God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, that his Messiah would suffer.” In this, the translation of “Messiah” must be realized as written “this Christ” ["ton Christon"], where the simple meaning implies there can only be one “Messiah.” In reality, both capitalized words [Messiah and Christ] mean the same, where the divine importance becomes Yahweh’s “Anointed One.” This says that not only would Jesus of Nazareth be the “Anointed One,” but all who would become the wives of Yahweh were likewise prophesied by the prophets, just as Jesus prophesied to his disciples that they too would suffer “in his name.” Thus, because the lame-at-birth man had suffered as a dead man [a mortal], who never lost his faith [again, see Job], he was “raised up” just like the prophets said Jesus would be.


In the last verse of this reading, Peter told the Jews, “Repent therefore, and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out.” Here, the placement of a “kai” before the Greek word “epistrepsate” places importance on “turning.” The root word “epistrephó” means “to turn, to return.” (Strong’s Definition) That one word [led by “kia”] places great importance on understanding a command “to return,” with the aorist active imperative [second person] says, “you personally have returned” as the result of serious repentance. Once one has returned to Yahweh, as a wife [breath of life, ruach] joined with His Holy Spirit [Pneuma], then one becomes the return of Jesus. When that promised return occurs [not at the end of time], one will find all one’s past sins will have been erased, through devoted submission to the Will of God.


As the mandatory Acts reading during the third Sunday of Easter, it is most important to grasp the depth of meaning that comes through understanding the divine language of Apostles. The purpose of the Easter season is to become Jesus reborn in one’s flesh, not to talk about how great Jesus was, without physically knowing Jesus. Where Peter spoke as a firsthand witness to seeing Jesus alive after death – physically as a separate body of flesh, not his own – one must be able to see how Peter never expected Christianity to grow through simple belief in things he said, as a first hand witness. No one can ACT like Jesus, without having become Jesus reborn. That can only come from true faith, not simply from being told to believe in someone you have never known personally, within one’s being.


The lesson of Easter is practicing righteousness. One has to stop seeing Peter as some amazing guy who listened to what Jesus said and then went out acting like Jesus. No pretender can heal anyone born lame and give them the power to be strong and walk with renewed physical health. Thus, the Easter season is not about pretending to be Peter. Instead, the Easter season is about realizing without Jesus within one’s being, one is like the lame beggar that needs healing. Healing can only come from true faith. Thus, the Easter season is when one must find that and realize it means becoming a Servant of Yahweh [not self-serving].

[1] Because the time is stated in verse 3:1 as taking place “at the ninth hour,” the statement in Acts 2:15, which had Peter reply to complaints that the Apostles were drunk on new wine, saying, “for it is only nine o’clock in the morning” [NRSV], the two events are separate. However, it is possible this took place the next morning, while Peter and John were still in Jerusalem; but Pentecost is a get out of town time for pilgrims who have been away from home for two months. There would be little reason for them to hang around.

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