What does Acts 3:21 mean?
ESV: whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago.
NIV: Heaven must receive him until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets.
NASB: whom heaven must receive until the period of restoration of all things, about which God spoke by the mouths of His holy prophets from ancient times.
CSB: Heaven must receive him until the time of the restoration of all things, which God spoke about through his holy prophets from the beginning.
NLT: For he must remain in heaven until the time for the final restoration of all things, as God promised long ago through his holy prophets.
KJV: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.
Verse Commentary:
Heaven "received" Jesus when He ascended into heaven after the resurrection (Acts 1:9). At some time in the future, He will return and Israel will be restored. Not even Peter knows when this will happen, although he suspects it will be soon (Acts 1:6–7). And Jesus tells us that we should continue to live as if He can return at any moment—because He can! (Mark 13:32–37.)

The Old Testament describes this restoration in several places: Other passages explain that Jesus will return after God has made a footstool of Jesus' enemies (Psalm 110:1; 1 Corinthians 15:24–28). The seven-year tribulation, a time of war, judgment, and horror, will be followed by the thousand-year reign of Jesus on the earth. This is similar to the reigns of David and Solomon. In David's time, Israel fought for honor and security. In Solomon's reign, peace ruled, and Israel was more prosperous than it has been before or since.
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 4/16/2024 12:06:03 AM
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