Acts 3:1-26

Peter heals the lame man at the temple

1 Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour.

[Peter and John...into the temple] It was natural for these newly energized believers in Christ to spend much time in the temple. The temple had been the center of their faith and, since the Jewish faith was actively looking forward to Messiah, and since they had information identifying Jesus of Nazareth as Messiah, they were eager to share this wonderful news with their fellow Jews. What better place than the temple where great crowds of Jewish faithful were worshipping God and praying for the fulfillment of Scripture?

[At the hour of prayer] Approximately three pm. in the afternoon our time. By the Jewish method of timekeeping a calandar day consisted of a night and a day running from sunset to the following sunset (technically from the first appearance of stars in the sky around sunset to the first appearance of stars the following sunset.) This was commonly roughed out to nighttime as sunset to sunrise and daytime as sunrise to sunset. Each period was evenly divided into twelve minor periods called hours. The length of these time periods was somewhat irregular due to seasonal variations but close enough for the era. When we overlay our fixed length hours over Jewish hours we come up with sunset at an approximate average of 6 pm and sunrise at an approximate average of 6 am. Hence, the ninth hour would be nine hours after 6 am or 3 pm.
Regarding stated times for prayer, both David and Daniel observed a time of prayer three times per day. Peter is described as praying at the sixth and ninth hours. At Pentecost the believers were gathered together at the third hour, presumably for prayer.
Psalm 55:17, Daniel 6:10, Acts 2:15, Acts 10:9, Acts 3:1.

2 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 of them that entered into the temple;

[To ask alms] The concept of almsgiving, providing assistance to those less fortunate than one's self, is deeply embedded in the scriptures. Farmers were instructed to leave gleanings in the field to help support the poor. The wealthy were instructed to be generous in their financial dealings with the needy. Such charitable acts found favor with both God and man. This particular beggar had become a landmark at the temple having occupied a particularly desirable spot for years. One can almost imagine family members making plans to meet after the prayer service, "Near the lame man."
Exodus 23:10-11, Leviticus 19:10, Leviticus 23:22, Deuteronomy 15:7-11, Matthew 6:1-4, Acts 10:1-4.

3 Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms.
4 And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us.
5 And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them.

[Expecting to receive something of them] This was the normal experience. People gave him a few coins many times during a typical day.

6 Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.
7 And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.

[Rise up and walk.] What he received was entirely unexpected. When the beggar asked alms the Holy Spirit caused Peter to realize that he had something far better to give than a few coins. He had the ability to heal through the name of Christ. A need recognized became a need met. What resources do you have that the Holy Spirit may employ to meet the needs of those less fortunate? Most certainly, information regarding salvation. What else?
Healing in the name of Christ was not new to Peter. He was among the twelve that were sent forth by Jesus to preach the kingdom of God and to back up that preaching by miracles of healing. Luke 9:1-6.

8 And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.

[Walking, and leaping, and praising God.] Imagine the lame man's excitement as he felt strength come into his legs and for the first time in his life he was able to not only walk but leap and run and do the ordinary activities which had heretofore been denied him. In his greatfulness he correctly praised God. I cannot help but compare his excitement with what we will experience at the Rapture. On some ordinary day we Christians will be unexpectedly taken up to heaven to be forever with our Lord Jesus Christ.
Isaiah 35:6, Matthew 11:2-5, Matthew 15:30-31, Matthew 21:14, 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, Revelation 22:12.

9 And all the people saw him walking and praising God:
10 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.
11 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.

[And they (all the people) were filled with wonder and amazement.] Those who directly observed the event quickly spread the news and soon a great crowd gathered. Without a doubt, some of the priests or at least their representatives also came to see what the commotion was about. There was no denying it, the lame man who had for years been begging alms at the temple gate was now in Solomon's porch walking and leaping and praising God. Healed.

12 And when Peter saw it, he answered unto the people, Ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this? or why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk?

[As though by our own power] Peter was a little shocked by the people's reaction. Remember, the whole nation was looking forward to the arrival of Messiah. They had recently crucified one who claimed to be such. Now, here was another who demonstrated miraculous power. Could Peter be the annointed one?

13 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.
14 But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you;
15 And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses.

[Hath glorified his Son Jesus] Listen up you devoutly religious people. The God of your forefathers, whom you also worship, has taken one more opportunity to glorify his Son, Jesus of Nazareth. You ignored God's testimony and delivered Jesus to the Roman government with the demand that he be executed. Pilate, according to justice, wished to release Jesus but you chose a murderer over the Son of God. By your demand Jesus was executed. You may not be aware of it, but God has overridden your wicked actions and resurrected Jesus. We are eyewitnesses to this fact.
Luke 3:21-22, John 1:29-36, Mark 15:1, Mark 15:10-15, Luke 24:6-7.

16 And his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.

[And his name] As Peter started to say earlier (v.12), the source of this miracle is faith in the name of Jesus of Nazareth, not some magical power that he himself possessed. When you have a little extra time do a quick study of New Testament references to faith.

17 And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers.
18 But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled.

[I wot that through ignorance ye did it] "I wot" is an old English phrase which is the equivalent of "I understand." Peter was saying . I understand that you and your leaders misinterpreted the Scriptures regarding Messiah and mistakenly crucified him. However, as you study the Scriptures in the light of current events you will understand that God clearly pointed to the suffering which Messiah would endure. Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of those scriptures.
With hindsight the prophecies are clearly identifiable. For a list see Jesus Christ, Preincarnate.

19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.

[That your sins may be blotted out,] Repent (turn from your rejection of God's Messiah) and be converted (commit yourself to Christ), that your sins (which are recorded against you and for which you will be punished Revelation 20:12) may be blotted out. When the mob chose Barabbas over Jesus Pilate washed his hands and said, "I am innocent of the blood of this just person.". The mob responded, "His blood be upon us, and on our children." (Matthew 27:24-25). Now Peter is informing them that the very blood of which they are guilty of spilling is the source of justification (Just as if I had never sinned) if they will turn in faith to Jesus Christ.

20 And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:
21 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.

[Whom the heaven must receive] Jesus Christ has been to earth and accomplished his redeeming work Now he is in heaven awaiting the results of his efforts. The Holy Spirit has taken up the work of enabling the church to inform individuals of the salvation which is available. At the appropriate time this opportunity will expire and Jesus will return to earth to settle accounts. Acts 1:9-11.

22 For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you.
23 And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.

[Moses truly said unto the fathers] A well known prophecy predicting Messiah. Those who are astute will hear and obey him, those whe reject him are subject to destruction. Deuteronomy 18:18-19.
See also John 1:21, 45, John 6:14, John 12:48.

24 Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days.
25 Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.
26 Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.

[These days] You are living in the days which the prophets and their subsequent generations have longed to see. God is fulfilling his covenant before your very eyes. Do not miss this opportunity.
And to those on earth who are now living near the close of the age of grace the message is the same. Do not miss your opportunity.


This page updated 10/28/2007

Copyright (C) 2007 Robert C. Denig. All rights reserved