chiasm: Acts 3

In Acts 2, Peter and the apostles speak of God’s own Son walking among us and how we’re called to start, and continue, a walk with him.

That message is confirmed in Acts 3 when God, through Peter, enables a man to walk who has never walked before (Acts 3.1-10). As word of what happened quickly spreads, people come running to to see (vs. 11). Peter seizes this moment to preach to the crowd (Acts 3.12-26) and all he says breaks down into two, neat chiasms.

The first portion of the sermon (Acts 3.12-26) focuses on the fact the One who healed this man was put to death by those seeing and hearing what was then taking place!

Chiasm-Acts-3-12-16

The sermon’s second movement (Acts 3.17-26) places emphasis on the fact the prophets of old had long spoken to them of such.

Chiasm-Acts-3-17-26

In other words, Peter is saying, “You shouldn’t be surprised, folks. While you affirm the goodness of what’s happening here and now, you’re the very ones who denied the One who made it happen, and the prophets back me up on that. It’s a fact as sure as this man standing here; it’s time for you to change!”

Credit: Reading Acts: A Literary and Theological Commentary by C.H. Talbert (1997); p.55