Powerless

“Peter saw his opportunity and addressed the crowd. ‘People of Israel,’ he said, ‘what is so surprising about this? And why stare at us as though we had made this man walk by our own power or godliness?’”—Acts 3:12 (NLT) 

As a parent, you quickly realize that your infant is truly and entirely dependent on you. There is no way around it. They can’t do anything apart from you. They can’t walk or crawl, they can’t talk, they can’t feed themselves or even get their own food, and they can’t change or bathe themselves. They can do nothing in their own power. And in the economy of eternity, neither can we apart from our Father!

In today’s verse, Peter had just healed a man who was “lame from birth” (Acts 3:2 NIV). Upon seeing this, all the people “were astonished and came running to them in the place called Solomon’s Colonnade” (Acts 3:11 NIV). Now, obviously, if someone who makes the impossible happen is standing right in front you, you’d probably be astounded and awestruck, too. I mean, this dude had been unable to walk since birth, and Peter just changes that with a few words. 

But in today’s verse, Peter tells the onlookers, and us today, “Why stare at us as though we had made this man walk by our own power or godliness?” You see, Peter knows—probably better than most people can ever fathom—just how helpless, hopeless, and powerless we are without Christ in us. He knows that it was not by his power or his holiness that this man was healed, but by the power and holiness of the name of Jesus Christ! And so, when he says, “Why stare at us,” what I read is “Don’t be astounded by me; be astounded by Jesus. Don’t fix your eyes on me, fix your eyes on Jesus!”

Today, I can stand here and tell you that I take two important principles from this; two things I can live by and stand upon. First, apart from Christ, I’m helpless to accomplish anything of true purpose, meaning, or glory. That’s why He instructed us to “Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me” (John 15:4 NIV). Second, like Peter, I need to remember to always point people back to Jesus! He is the source of all love, power, grace, truth, beauty, and life!

 

DIG: Read Acts 3.   

DISCOVER: When was the last time you were astounded by the work of Jesus in your life or the life of someone around you?

DISPLAY: Spend some time reflecting on your own powerlessness and the power and glory of God!

About the Author

Danny Saavedra

Danny Saavedra has served on the staff of Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.