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1 Now Peter and John went up together to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. 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 from those who entered the temple; 3 who, seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked for alms. 4 And fixing his eyes on him, with John, Peter said, “Look at us.” 5 So he gave them his attention, expecting to receive something from them.

 

Verses 1-10 depict the healing of a lame man. This miracle is the first recorded miracle following the launch of the church. It was a sign to demonstrate the authority of the apostles over the church. The miracle of this chapter followed “many wonders and miraculous signs” by the apostles (Acts 2:43).

The miracle ministry of the apostles brought them into conflict on each wondrous occasion with religious leaders. Religion attempted to put an end to the new message about the institution of the church.

3:1

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

Peter and John were companions in business and continued to be so afterward (Acts 4:13, 19; 8:14). Initially, they were partners in the fishing trade. Peter did all the speaking, with John silent in the background. They came at the “ninth” hour or three in the afternoon.

3:2

And a certain man lame [crippled] from his mother’s womb was carried,

The congenitally lame man was handicapped from birth; it did not result from an accident, making the miracle of his healing yet more astounding. He was more than 40 years old at the time of his healing (Acts 4:22). It was apparent to everyone that his case was hopeless.

whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful,

The lame man begged at the gate of the Temple for decades, making him a familiar sight to Temple attenders.

The “Beautiful” gate may have been the Nicanor Gate, a gate that separates the Court of Women from the Court of the Israelites. The gate was about 75 feet high with double doors and covered with Corinthian bronze, which exceeded the value of silver and gold in that day.

to ask alms from those who entered the temple;

The crowd that entered the Temple would have known this man because people carried him to the gate of the Temple every day.

3:3

who, seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked for alms.

Almsgiving was a major tenet of the Jewish faith. Those going to the Temple to worship would give attention to a man in need.

3:4

And fixing his eyes on him, with John, Peter said, “Look at us.”

Peter asked the lame man to concentrate on something important. He was about to give this beggar something totally unexpected. He wanted this beggar to know who it was who healed him—the Lord Jesus Christ. Peter did not want to heal the lame man until he got his full attention.

3:5

So he gave them his attention, expecting to receive something from them.

The lame man gave his full attention to Peter, expecting to receive a gift of money from them.

PRINCIPLE:

There is very little correspondence between today’s “healing” of Christians and the miracle of healing in the biblical world.

APPLICATION:

Miracles included the gift of healing (Mt 10:1). Many people fake this gift in today’s church (2 Co 11:13-15). Many have been exposed as con artists. Satan can counterfeit miracles and healings (Mt 7:22-23; Mark 13:22; 2 Th 2:9).

Miracles were uncommon in the first-century church, with none apparently among believers. God healed unbelievers (Acts 3:1-11; 5:15-16; 8:7; 19:11-12; 28:8). The case of Aeneas in Acts 9 is debated as to whether he was a believer. Paul did not heal Trophimus but left him sick in Miletus (2 Ti 4:20).

God heals today in answer to prayer and by His sovereign will.

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