Acts 5:12-16

Miraculous Healing

12a And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people;

[Signs and wonders] This part of verse twelve introduces verse fifteen so we will delay discussing it until verse 15.

12b (and they were all with one accord in Solomon's porch.
13 And of the rest durst no man join himself to them: but the people magnified them.
14 And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.)

[Solomon's porch] A large common area associated with the temple where people could congregate and prepare for the business at hand. Named Solomon's porch in honor of King Solomon, builder of the first temple in Jerusalem.

King David had desired to build a permanent temple but was denied permission by God. Instead, David's son, King Solomon, was permited to build the first temple. You may read about it beginning with 1 Kings chapter 5. The temple compound consisted of multiple buildings featuring large porches (common areas) interconnected by paved concourses.
Solomon's temple was destroyed by the Babylonians and seventy years later King Cyrus of Persia (Babylonia had been conquered by Persia) sponsored construction of a replacement temple in Jerusalem. See Ezra chapter 1. Unfortunately, enthusiasm among the Jews for repatriation from Babylonia to the land of Israel was weak and the resulting temple was an inferior copy of the original.
During the time of Jesus a major upgrade of the second temple, initiated by Herod, was nearing completion. John 10:23, Acts 3:11. The scond temple was destroyed in 70 AD by Roman soldiers under the command of Titus.

[And they were all of one accord] The group of believers had become a regular fixture on Solomon's porch, holding prayer services and preaching publicly and privately to any who would hear the good news that Messiah, as predicted in the Law and the Prophets (what we now call the Old Testament), had arrived. He was crucified by man but resurrected by God, and now, whosoever believes on him, will have eternal life.

[Durst no man join himself to them] The priests and rulers were so bitterly opposed to anyone teaching about Jesus that, while many private citizens and even some leaders became believers in Jesus, few had enough courage to appear alongside the apostles at the temple. Compare with John 7:12-13, John 19:38.

It is important to reemphasize that what the apostles were teaching was in no way illegal. They fully believed the scriptures and were teaching that the promised Messiah had arrived in the person of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. They had become known as the sect of the "Nazarenes." Matthew 2:23, Acts 24:5.
Jewish religion was subdivided into many sects, comparable to religious denominations of today. All claimed allegience to the same scriptures but had differing viewpoints and, of course, each struggled to secure political power. The Pharisees were the largest sect and were the conservatives of the day. They adopted a legalistic interpretation of scripture and embroidered many detailed rules around the scriptures in the hope of preventing any Pharisee from ever coming close to committing a transgression. The Pharisees hated Jesus because he exposed their hypocricy. See Matthew chapter 23.
The Sadducees were the other major sect. Sadducees did not believe in miracles and especially in resurrection of the dead. Obviously, the Nazarenes' teaching about a Messiah who had been crucified and resurrected was a problem for them. Acts 4:1-2.

More annoyance for the Sadducees.

12a And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people;
15 Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them.
16 There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed every one.

[They were healed every one] One of the major certifications by God of Jesus' ministry and later of the apostles' ministry was the gift of miraculous healing. Matthew 4:23-25, Matthew 9:35, Luke 9:1-2.
A person may be ill spiritually but is much more sensitive to physical ailment. Some came to Jesus to hear his teaching but many more came in hope of being physically healed and as a result heard the gospel from his lips. In the light of the theme of the Acts of the Apostles, "Ye shall be witnesses unto me..." Acts 1:8, we should take note of the great openness to the Gospel which results when a person and his friends and relatives face their own mortality. Visiting and praying for and witnessing to the sick is among the most effective of ministries.

If you wish to make a study of healing in the New Testament use the following search and start reading the verses beginning at the book of Matthew.
Healing is described as one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. See 1 Corinthians chapter 12. We should take notice that the gifts of the Holy Spirit do not necessarily imply miraculous abilities. In most cases a gift consists of an aptitude for a certain skill which may then be developed through study and experience. In today's world God has been generous in widely distributing medical knowledge and skill. In the case of those who claim a special connection with God which enables them to perform supernatural medical miracles, I would carefully evaluate the messenger and especially his/her message in the light of the Word of God. Matthew 24:24.


This page updated 12/10/2007

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