What does Acts 3:13 mean?
ESV: The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified his servant Jesus, whom you delivered over and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release him.
NIV: The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus. You handed him over to be killed, and you disowned him before Pilate, though he had decided to let him go.
NASB: The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified His servant Jesus, the one whom you handed over and disowned in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release Him.
CSB: The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our ancestors, has glorified his servant Jesus, whom you handed over and denied before Pilate, though he had decided to release him.
NLT: For it is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob — the God of all our ancestors — who has brought glory to his servant Jesus by doing this. This is the same Jesus whom you handed over and rejected before Pilate, despite Pilate’s decision to release him.
KJV: The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let him go.
Verse Commentary:
Peter has just healed a lame man in the temple (Acts 3:1–9). When the man starts leaping, the people recognize him and realize what has happened. They mob Peter and John, and Peter explains the power that healed the man did not come from them but from Jesus (Acts 3:10–12). The man was healed by faith in the name of Jesus (Acts 3:16) whom God raised (Acts 3:15) and glorified.

Peter gives a short summary of the crucifixion and the people's part in it in Acts 3:13–15. The Sanhedrin arrested Jesus because of jealousy (Matthew 27:18). But they had limited authority to execute a criminal (John 18:31)—plus, they didn't want backlash for killing Jesus, whom the people considered a prophet (Mark 14:1–2). The Sanhedrin brought Jesus to Pilate, the Roman governor, but Pilate didn't want anything to do with the case. After Pilate questioned Jesus, he wanted to release Him, so he had Jesus flogged and humiliated, hoping it would be enough to satiate the Sanhedrin's wrath. But the Jewish leaders told Pilate that releasing Jesus was rebellion against Caesar. Pilate didn't want the Sanhedrin to riot against him any more than the Sanhedrin wanted the people to riot against them, so Pilate agreed to have Him crucified (John 18:28—19:16).

The sequence of events shows how culpable the Jews are in the death of Jesus. Although the Jewish leadership was the driving force, to the point of inciting the crowd to their cause (Matthew 27:20), God dealt with the Jews in a more collective way. Even if some in Peter's audience weren't there in Jerusalem at the time of the crucifixion, they carried the guilt of their people.

That same collective identity is why Peter describes God as the God of the Jewish patriarchs. Today, nearly two thousand years later, we tend to think of Christianity divorced from Judaism, or replacing it. In the early days of the church, Christianity was well understood to be a fulfillment of Judaism. The same God who took the Jews for His people brought them Jesus. The same prophets who contributed to the identity of the Jews foretold Jesus' coming (Acts 3:21–25). When presenting the good news to the Jews, the apostles start with the Jewish Scriptures. If they reject Jesus, they reject their own faith.
Verse Context:
Acts 3:11–26 transcribes the sermon Peter gives at the temple. While Peter and John enter the temple to pray, Peter heals a lame beggar who has asked for alms. The man is healed and leaps up, praising God (Acts 3:1–10). When this catches the crowd's attention, Peter explains that the healing power did not come from them but from Jesus of Nazareth whom the Jews killed. The results are mixed; the Jesus-followers gain unwanted attention from the Jewish officials (Acts 4:1–3), but five thousand men plus women find faith in Jesus (Acts 4:4).
Chapter Summary:
Acts 3 is comprised of two sections: the healing of a lame man and the explanation of that healing. First, a man who has been lame his whole life approaches Peter and John to beg from them at the temple. When Peter heals him in Jesus' name, a crowd gathers around. Peter gives witness to Jesus (Acts 1:8) and tells the crowd that Jesus' authority and power healed this man. Looking back as modern readers, we see how, as the man's body symbolically ''repented,'' or turned away, from its broken form into freedom of movement, so the people can repent from their broken thoughts, actions, and beliefs, and find freedom from sin.
Chapter Context:
Acts 3 contains the second major speech of Jesus' followers. In Acts 1, Jesus ascended into heaven. In Acts 2, His followers received the Holy Spirit and gave such witness to Him that three thousand people believed in Him. Here, Peter explains that Jesus' power and authority have healed a lame man, and Jesus can heal sinful hearts, as well. This moment will bring the fledgling church to the attention of the Sanhedrin: the Jewish ruling court. There, Peter and John will set the example for all Jesus-followers. Jesus told them to be His witness (Acts 1:8); nothing a human authority can say will stop them.
Book Summary:
The summary of the book of Acts is provided in Jesus' words in Acts 1:8: ''But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.'' In Acts 2:1–13, the Christ-followers receive the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:14—7:60 describes the rapid growth of the church in Jerusalem. Chapters 8—12 find Jewish persecution inadvertently spreading the gospel throughout Judea and Samaria. And in chapters 13—28, Paul and his companions spread the good news throughout the Roman Empire.
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