What does Acts 3:14 mean?
ESV: But you denied the Holy and Righteous One, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you,
NIV: You disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you.
NASB: But you disowned the Holy and Righteous One, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you,
CSB: You denied the Holy and Righteous One and asked to have a murderer released to you.
NLT: You rejected this holy, righteous one and instead demanded the release of a murderer.
KJV: But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you;
NKJV: But you denied the Holy One and the Just, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you,
Verse Commentary:
Peter is explaining to a crowd of Jews on the Temple Mount how they rejected the Messiah that God promised to send the Jews. Here, Peter is talking about how the Sanhedrin, the Jewish ruling council, incited a crowd to force Pilate to crucify Jesus and release a murderer named Barabbas (Matthew 27:15–26). But this verses also describes the history of the Jewish nation.

The most egregious example is the choice of the Israelites to worship Moloch. God promised the Israelites that if they obeyed and worshiped Him, He would make sure their land would remain fertile and their families would have many children (Deuteronomy 28:1–6). Instead, they ignored God and worshiped the Phoenician god Moloch. Part of Moloch's worship was to make large metal statues of the god, either with outstretched arms or a cut-out in the stomach. The statues were placed in a roaring fire, and worshipers put their young children in the arms or the hole. The Israelites who did so certainly denied the Holy and Righteous God in favor of a murderer.

In reality, this is the history of the human race. In the garden of Eden, Adam and Eve chose the sin that causes death over God (Genesis 3:1–7). Peter is condemning Jews for the murder of Jesus because He is a Jew speaking to Jews. The truth is, we are all equally guilty of Jesus' death.
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.
Accessed 5/30/2024 6:56:28 AM
© Copyright 2002-2024 Got Questions Ministries. All rights reserved.
Text from ESV, NIV, NASB, CSB, NLT, KJV, NKJV © Copyright respective owners, used by permission.