A man approved of God - Αποδεδειγμενον, celebrated, famous. The sense of the verse seems to be this: Jesus of Nazareth, a man sent of God, and celebrated among you by miracles, wonders, and signs; and all these done in such profusion as had never been done by the best of your most accredited prophets. And these signs, etc., were such as demonstrated his Divine mission.
Ye men of Israel - Descendants of Israel or Jacob, that is, Jews. Peter proceeds now to the third part of his argument, to show that Jesus Christ had been raised up; that the scene which had occurred was in accordance with his promise, was proof of his resurrection, and of his exaltation to be the Messiah; and that, therefore, they should repent for their great sin in having put their own Messiah to death.
A man approved of God - A man who was shown or demonstrated to have the approbation of God, or to have been sent by him.
By miracles, and wonders, and signs - The first of these words properly means the displays of power which Jesus made; the second, the unusual or remarkable events which attended him, as suited to excite wonder or amazement; the third, the sights or proofs that he was from God. Together, they denote the array or series of remarkable works - raising the dead, healing the sick, etc., which showed that Jesus was sent from God. The proof which they furnished that he was from God was this, that He would not confer such power on an impostor, and that therefore Jesus was what he pretended to be.
Which God did, by him - The Lord Jesus himself often traced his power to do these things to his commission from the Father, but he did it in such a way as to show that he was closely united to him, John 5:19, John 5:30. Peter here says that God did these works by Jesus Christ, to show that Jesus was truly sent by him, and that therefore he had the seal and attestation of God. The same thing Jesus himself said, John 5:36, “The work which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me.” The great works which God has made in creation, as well as in redemption, he is represented as having done by his Son, Hebrews 1:2, “By whom also he made the worlds,” John 1:3; Colossians 1:15-19.
In the midst of you - In your own land. It is also probable that many of the persons present had been witnesses of his miracles.
As ye yourselves also know - They knew it either by having witnessed them, or by the evidence which everywhere abounded of the truth that he had performed them. The Jews, even in the time of Christ, did not dare to call his miracles in question, John 15:24. While they admitted the miracle, they attempted to trace it to the influence of Beelzebub, Matthew 9:34; Mark 3:22. So decided and numerous were the miracles of Jesus, that Peter here appeals to them as having been known by the Jews themselves to have been performed, and with a confidence that even riley could not deny it. On this he proceeds to rear his argument for the truth of his Messiahship.
In answer to the accusation of the priests Peter showed that this demonstration was in direct fulfillment of the prophecy of Joel, wherein he foretold that such power would come upon men to fit them for a special work. “Ye men of Judea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem,” he said, “be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: for these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel: And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of My Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: and on My servants and on My handmaidens I will pour out in those days of My Spirit; and they shall prophesy.” AA 41.1
With clearness and power Peter bore witness of the death and resurrection of Christ: “Ye men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by Him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: Him ... ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that He should be holden of it.” AA 41.2
Peter did not refer to the teachings of Christ to prove his position, because he knew that the prejudice of his hearers was so great that his words on this subject would be of no effect. Instead, he spoke to them of David, who was regarded by the Jews as one of the patriarchs of their nation. “David speaketh concerning Him,” he declared: “I foresaw the Lord always before My face, for He is on My right hand, that I should not be moved: therefore did My heart rejoice, and My tongue was glad; moreover also My flesh shall rest in hope: because Thou wilt not leave My soul in hell, neither wilt Thou suffer Thine Holy One to see corruption.... AA 41.3Read in context »
This chapter is based on Acts 17:1-10.
After leaving Philippi, Paul and Silas made their way to Thessalonica. Here they were given the privilege of addressing large congregations in the Jewish synagogue. Their appearance bore evidence of the shameful treatment they had recently received, and necessitated an explanation of what had taken place. This they made without exalting themselves, but magnified the One who had wrought their deliverance. AA 221.1Read in context »
The Saviour is still carrying forward the same work as when He proffered the water of life to the woman of Samaria. Those who call themselves His followers may despise and shun the outcast ones; but no circumstance of birth or nationality, no condition of life, can turn away His love from the children of men. To every soul, however sinful, Jesus says, If thou hadst asked of Me, I would have given thee living water. DA 194.1
The gospel invitation is not to be narrowed down, and presented only to a select few, who, we suppose, will do us honor if they accept it. The message is to be given to all. Wherever hearts are open to receive the truth, Christ is ready to instruct them. He reveals to them the Father, and the worship acceptable to Him who reads the heart. For such He uses no parables. To them, as to the woman at the well, He says, “I that speak unto thee am He.” DA 194.2
When Jesus sat down to rest at Jacob's well, He had come from Judea, where His ministry had produced little fruit. He had been rejected by the priests and rabbis, and even the people who professed to be His disciples had failed of perceiving His divine character. He was faint and weary; yet He did not neglect the opportunity of speaking to one woman, though she was a stranger, an alien from Israel, and living in open sin. DA 194.3Read in context »
Peter showed them that this manifestation was the direct fulfillment of the prophecy of Joel, wherein he foretold that such power would come upon men of God to fit them for a special work. SR 244.1
Peter traced back the lineage of Christ in a direct line to the honorable house of David. He did not use any of the teachings of Jesus to prove His true position, because he knew their prejudices were so great that it would be of no effect. But he referred them to David, whom the Jews regarded as a venerable patriarch of their nation. Said Peter: SR 244.2Read in context »