A Lame Man Healed
"Now Peter and John went up together to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. And a certain man lame from his mother's womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms from those who entered the temple; who, seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked for alms. And fixing his eyes on him, with John, Peter said, "Look at us." So he gave them his attention, expecting to receive something from them. Then Peter said, "Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk." And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. So he, leaping up, stood and walked and entered the temple with them — walking, leaping, and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God. Then they knew that it was he who sat begging alms at the Beautiful Gate of the temple; and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him".
Preaching in Solomon's Portico
Now as the lame man who was healed held on to Peter and John, all the people ran together to them in the porch which is called Solomon's, greatly amazed. So when Peter saw it, he responded to the people: "Men of Israel, why do you marvel at this? Or why look so intently at us, as though by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified His Servant Jesus, whom you delivered up and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let Him go. But you denied the Holy One and the Just, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, 15 and killed the Prince of life, whom God raised from the dead, of which we are witnesses. And His name, through faith in His name, has made this man strong, whom you see and know. Yes, the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.
"Yet now, brethren, I know that you did it in ignorance, as did also your rulers. But those things which God foretold by the mouth of all His prophets, that the Christ would suffer, He has thus fulfilled. Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, 20 and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before,* whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began. For Moses truly said to the fathers, 'The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your brethren. Him you shall hear in all things, whatever He says to you. And it shall be that every soul who will not hear that Prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people.'* Yes, and all the prophets, from Samuel and those who follow, as many as have spoken, have also foretold* these days. You are sons of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying to Abraham, 'And in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed.'* To you first, God, having raised up His Servant Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from your iniquities."
As we read near the conclusion of chapter 2, Luke told us in the 43rd verse many signs and wonders were done by the Apostles that were not written in the Book of Acts. But here in the 3rd chapter we are given our first look at one of the many miracles that will be done by the Apostles at various times. Obviously, we can't say this was the first of many to come. We can say the Holy Spirit decided to have Luke record this one first. As they executed miracles, the Holy Spirit directed them as to who would receive them and those that would be written down in Biblical history. Those miracles that are recorded are to serve to the reader of the Bible as clear evidence that those ministry "signs" Jesus spoke about in Mark 16:17 did indeed happen to those who will believe.
In this book, the Holy Spirit recorded through Luke the ministries of 4 Apostles: Peter, James, John and Paul. It's interesting that Peter and John were chosen for the first recorded miracle work. Before they answered the call to discipleship, Peter, James, John, and Andrew were all fishermen and during their discipleship training when they were with Jesus, Peter and John somehow were paired together.
Peter and John went to the Temple to pray (vs. 1)
In the early stages of the church, Peter and John continued to worship in the Jewish temple. Here in the first verse, they’re going to the temple at 3:00pm, which is the 3rd of the 3 time periods designated throughout each day for prayer in the temple. The Jews had 3 designated time periods when they would consistently pray in the temple:
According to Psalms 55:17, King David referred them as evening, morning and noon.
The THIRD hour is found in Acts 2:15, corresponding to nine o'clock in the morning.
The SIXTH hour is found in Acts 10:9, answering to about twelve noon.
The NINTH hour, mentioned in Acts 3:1 in this verse, corresponds to three in the afternoon.
The rabbis believed that Abraham instituted the time of morning prayer; Isaac, that at noon; and Jacob, that of the evening: for which they quote several scriptures. The belief was a man should pray at least 3 times a day. The 3 times that men should pray were:
1. When the sun rises;
2. when the sun has gained the meridian;
3. when the sun has set, or passed just under the horizon.
At each one of these three times they required men to offer prayer to God.
In this chapter….
A certain man, lame from birth was laid daily at the temple gate called Beautiful to beg for financial help from everyone who entered in the temple. (vs. 2)
Luke tells us this cripple man was well known to the people who frequently prayed in the courtyard of the temple. As the verse said; he was laid at the gate every day to ask for alms and to elicit compassion from those who came to the temple. He was never able into walk and never had walked up to the day his miracle took place. The man was 40 years old we are told in Chapter 4:22. Luke mentions his age to show that the miracle that was about to take place was not staged, but it was authentic. Here’s how and why he was laid there of all places:
He sees Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked them for alms. And fixing his eyes on him, with John, Peter said, "Look at us." So he gave them his attention, expecting to receive something from them. (vs. 3-5)
There is no evidence that Peter and John actually knew the man personally. From what we can deduce from the story, he happened to be at the gate begging as they were coming in to the temple courtyard to pray and this was the first time they ever encountered this man. As the man asks for alms, Peter is prompted to say to the man: “Look on us.” Peter said this to get the lame man’s undivided attention to expect some type of alms. What he didn’t expect was a miraculous response for his request for alms.
Peter: “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk” (vs. 6)
“I don’t have money to give, but what I have within my authority to give I will give you that. What I have to give you comes from the authority of Jesus Christ who entrusted me to give you what I’m about to give. ”In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk”.
NOTE: Remembering something Jesus said………
In Mark 16:17-18, Jesus said, "These signs shall follow them that they would lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover." The expression “by these signs” means by his authority, or "in virtue” of power derived from him.
In this 3rd chapter, we can see what manner and difference between the manner in which the Lord Jesus performed miracles and the manner in which it was done by his apostles, Peter in this case. Whenever Jesus executed a miracle, Jesus did them in his own name and by virtue of his own power and intrinsic authority, because He is God, manifested in human flesh and He did them to show that the healing and delivering power of God the Father was at work in Him as the Son of God on earth.
In contrast to the manner in which Jesus performed miracles, the apostles never attempted to perform a miracle by their own power because the ability to do so was imparted upon them by the Holy Spirit and they knew without Him miracles could not be done by them. Whenever they did them, it was only in the name of Jesus. This healing that took place at the entrance of the courtyard alone shows the radical difference between the healing manner of Christ and all other prophets and teachers.
As far as identifying Jesus with His birth city, Peter used this identification of Jesus because this was the name by which he was commonly known, and by the name he had been designated among the Jews and on the cross. It’s not improbable that the man had not heard of Jesus by this name, but it was important that he understood that his healing was by the authority of him who had been crucified as an impostor.
Peter now commands the beggar: “Rise up and walk”.
The reason Peter was led to publicly attempt to heal the man was the immediate healing of this man in the temple courtyard would give the crowd in the temple courtyard clear evidence that Jesus has arisen and that healing of the lame man was proof positive of the healing power that was in Jesus and to get the people to repent and turn towards God by believing the gospel message.
Immediately after Peter took the lame man by the right hand and lifted him up. (vs. 7)
Peter took hold of the man’s hand for 2 reasons:
He did it to offer some assistance to compel him to make the effort to try to stand up. Remember, for the man had been lame for 40 years.
He did it to show the man that the command to rise and walk spoken to him, was sincere and was not an attempt to mock the man’s crippled state but was an inducement to him to make an effort.
This is a beautiful illustration of the same manner God will use when he commands people to repent and believe. The Lord does not leave them alone, he extends help, and aids their efforts. If they tremble, and feel that they are weak, and needy, and helpless, his hand is stretched out and his power exerted to impart strength and grace.
As Peter extends his hand to the lame man, supernaturally, the man began to receive a power surge flowing through his feet and ankles and bones and immediately, strength began to flow through his body he started leaping, walking and praising God. (vs. 8)
There is great emphasis being placed on the action words “leaping”, “walking” and “praising”. The reason is:
The emphasis on them is to show that the healing and the lame man’s reaction to the quickness the healing came about, because his life and his health changed instantly.
The emphasis is to show that his response was natural. Being healed, the man would be filled with joy, and would express joy in this manner.
He had been lame from a child; he had never walked before; and there was more in the miracle than merely giving strength. The art of "walking" is one that is acquired and accomplished by long periods of practice. Children learn to walk over a period of time and they make every effort to do so.
Notice that the man never gave credit to Peter or John; neither did he thank them, but gave all praises to God.
Peter and John never claimed to be responsible for healing him in their own name. Conversely, the lame man obviously never felt that no man could do it anyway. When it happened, he praised God without being taught or coaxed to do it. His response was instinctive and the natural feeling of the gratefulness that welled up in his heart.
What we can apply to our lives today….
A repentant and redeemed sinner will give the same kind of response this healed man gave. Their first response, when they are converted, will be to give the praise to God. While they will feel a gracious regard for the ministry or minister God used in compelling them to repentance and salvation in Jesus Christ. Their main expression of gratitude will be to God, and this they will do instinctively. They won’t need prompting from anyone because they know that there’s no power of man is equal to the work of converting the soul that only the Lord God possesses. So they will rejoice, and give all the praise to the God of Grace.
“And all the people saw him walking and praising God: And they knew that it was he which sat for alms at the Beautiful gate of the temple: and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him”. (vs. 9-10)
Immediately, when this man was able at once to walk, it became clear proof of a miracle. Not only this, the people responded and began to praise God too as soon as they saw the man leaping and walking and praising God as the three of them entered into the temple. Their response was just as instantaneous and their response confirmed that a miracle had taken place.
Consider these facts:
- The people who had been accustomed to see him sit in a public place.
- They had seen him a long time, and now they saw the same man expressing his praise to God for complete recovery.
- The man had been lame from a child. This was known to all the people, especially to the people who were accustomed to seeing him begging at the courtyard entrance.
- The apostles had not seen him before, therefore, no act of collusion or coerced agreement with him to attempt to be an imposition on the people took place.
- The man himself was convinced of the miracle, and he responded as a person would who had been crippled before would have if they were all of a sudden healed, thus, he obviously did not doubt the source of power which was Jehovah God, not the apostles themselves.
- Again, the people were convinced of the same thing. They saw the effects it had on him. They knew that earlier that day when they saw him at the gate, he was still crippled. They seeing him now leaping, walking and praising God right before their very eyes were convinced that he was healed.
- Knowing the number of days, weeks and years he sat at the gate Beautiful begging for alms and had been crippled all that time, there were convinced by what they did know that there was no possibility of deception in his case.
Preaching in the Temple: “On Solomon’s Porch” (Verses 11-26)
"And as the lame man which was healed held Peter and John, all the people ran together unto them in the porch that is called Solomon's, greatly wondering".
Extremely grateful and overjoyed because he is now healed, the man now clings to Peter and John and has chosen to follow them and become a witness to the power God has to healed any lame or crippled person. The people both praising God and wondering what this miracle really meant now have gathered around Peter and John to hear what message they have from God to address to them.
Peter’s Message to the Israel:
(Jews of Jerusalem and those who remained in Jerusalem post Pentecost celebration): (vs. 12-16)
Concerning the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ and the Healing of the lame man:
2 Questions: Men of Israel, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? (vs. 12)
You men of Israel, why are you so greatly surprised at this man? and why are you looking at us as if by our power or virtue we had given him the use of his legs?
The Truth: (Concerning Jesus Christ)
“You denied, disowned and Killed Him,…But God raised Him from the dead”!
"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. You disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you. You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this". (vs. 13-15)
The God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, has given glory to his servant Jesus; whom you gave up, turning your backs on him, when Pilate had made the decision to let him go free. But you would have nothing to do with the Holy and Upright One, and made request for a man of blood (Barabbas) to be given to you, And put to death the Lord of life; whom God gave back from the dead; of which fact we are witnesses.
The Truth: (Concerning the man’s healing)
“God did it through Jesus Christ”: “His name and faith in Him”
By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus' name and the faith that comes through him that has given this complete healing to him, as you can all see. (vs. 16) (NIV)
And his name, through faith in his name, has made this man strong, whom you see and have knowledge of: yes, the faith which is through him has made him well, before you all.
Evangelistic Appeal: “Repent and Turn to God” (vs. 17-26)
Concerning the Jews: (Israel as a nation) “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that you may be blessed by the Lord.
In other words….
“Change your hearts and turn to God”.
"Now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did your leaders. But this is how God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, saying that his Christ would suffer. Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that he may send the Christ, who has been appointed for you, even Jesus. (vs. 17- 19)
I am conscious that you did this, as did your rulers, without knowledge. But the things which God had made clear before, by the mouth of all the prophets, that the Christ would have to undergo, he has put into effect in this way. So then, let your hearts be changed and be turned to God, so that your sins may be completely taken away, and times of blessing may come from the Lord; And that he may send the Christ who was marked out for you from the first, even Jesus:
In other words....
You are living under the times of the gospel, the reign of the Messiah, the times of refreshing. This happy, glorious period has been long anticipated, and is to continue to the close of the world. The period which will include the restitution of all things, and the return of Christ to judgment, has come, and is, therefore, the period when you may find mercy, and when you should seek it, to be prepared for his return." This is the period you have been waiting for.
Concerning Jesus ……
He must remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets. For Moses said, 'The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people; you must listen to everything he tells you. Anyone who does not listen to him will be completely cut off from among his people.' (vs. 20-22)
Jesus is to remain in heaven until the time when all things are put right. God has given word by the mouth of his holy prophets, who have been from the earliest times
Moses said, “The Lord will give you a prophet from among your people, like me; you will give ear to everything which he will say to you. And every soul who does not give attention to that prophet, will be cut off from among the people”.
Concerning the Prophets of Old……
"Indeed, all the prophets from Samuel on, as many as have spoken, have foretold these days. And you are heirs of the prophets and of the covenant God made with your fathers. He said to Abraham, 'Through your offspring all peoples on earth will be blessed.' When God raised up his servant, he sent him first to you to bless you by turning each of you from your wicked ways." (vs. 23-26)
And all the prophets from Samuel and those who came after, every one of them, gave word of these days. You are the sons of the prophets, and of the agreement which God made with your fathers, saying to Abraham, Through your seed a blessing will come on all the families of the earth. To you, first, God sent his servant, blessing you by turning every one of you from his sins. This was not to say that hey were related to the prophets in any way. This was to say they touted themselves as disciples, followers, and pupils. They saw the prophets as teachers and guides. As they were the professed disciples of the prophets, they should listen to them. As they lived among the people to whom the prophets were sent, and to whom the promises were made, they should avail themselves of the offer of mercy, and embrace the Messiah.
The greatest blessing that can ever be bestowed upon people is for people to be turned away from sin. Sin is the source of all woes, and if people are compelled and ultimately turned from sin, they will be happy. Christ will not bless anyone who abides in sin, or even while they are in love with their sinning, but He will bestow blessings upon their turning away from sin.
This was the purpose why Jesus came in the first place: to save people from their sin:
“And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins."
It was the desire of Peter in making these remarks to show his countrymen, the Jews and Israel as a nation that the Messiah had already come in the person of Jesus Christ. Peter conveyed to them that they can find happiness, pardon, and mercy through Jesus. This is not only true for all the Jews, this is also true for every one of us too.
Jesus, while he was alive here on earth during the time of the Apostles before the cross, sought to turn every one of them from sin and back in the good graces of God the Father through repentance and acceptance of HIM as their Messiah. This is why John said in John 1:11 "He came to His own" first, even though His own (the Jews) rejected Him. Even as Jesus currently sits at the right hand of the Jehovah God the father in heaven as our Great High Priest, He still seeks to turn us all from living our lives in sin. It is still Jesus’ desire to bless every nation by the preaching of the gospel message which he had himself preached, and to establish by his death, burial and resurrection. May everyone who hears the gospel message be inspired to turn away from a live of sin, which will keep you separated from God who is holy and eternally separate you from Him in death is you fail to repent and turn to Jesus Christ while you are still alive.
Dr. William Edward Boddie