Acts 3:1-11 (web)

Peter Heals the Lame Man

3:1 Peter and John were going up into the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour{3:00 PM}. 
3:2 A certain man who was lame from his mother's womb was being carried, 
whom they laid daily at the door of the temple which is called Beautiful, 
to ask gifts for the needy of those who entered into the temple. 
3:3 Seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked to receive gifts for the needy. 
3:4 Peter, fastening his eyes on him, with John, said, "Look at us." 
3:5 He listened to them, expecting to receive something from them. 
3:6 But Peter said, "Silver and gold have I none, but what I have, that I give you. 
In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, get up and walk!" 
3:7 He took him by the right hand, and raised him up. 
Immediately his feet and his ankle bones received strength. 
3:8 Leaping up, he stood, and began to walk.
He entered with them into the temple, walking, leaping, and praising God. 
3:9 All the people saw him walking and praising God. 
3:10 They recognized him, that it was he who used to sit begging for gifts
for the needy at the Beautiful Gate of the temple. 
They were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him. 
3:11 As the lame man who was healed held on to Peter and John, 
all the people ran together to them in the porch that is called Solomon's, greatly wondering. 
 

Comments

vs 1 "The hour of prayer" would seem to indicate that they established a regular prayer time as a habit. (3:00 pm) We are all naturally lazy but we are also creatures of habit. The flesh is resistant to spiritual activities, but is less resistant if we do things on a regular basis. The problem of course is that the flesh can become so used to such habits that it dominates such activities and prayers simply become ritualistic and repititious, as Jesus had formerly pointed out concerning the religious activities of the Jewish legalists. We also have the example in Catholicism of the corruption of prayer in their "Roseary", which is not only inappropriate in that one ends up praying to the dead, contrary to the Law of Moses, but also it is repetitious. So the benefit of habits is that they help overcome the resistance of the flesh, but the detriment is that the flesh can take over such a habit and one loses focus of the original purpose of the habit.

vs 2 Here we have a parallel with John 9 in which Jesus healed a man who was blind from birth. The fact that such infirmities had been lifelong makes their healing appear even more miraculous. The gate of the temple of course was the best place to beg. People had to go through the gate to go in and out. And the Jews would have the most incentive to be generous at the time not only because they were carrying out their religous duties in the temple, but also because the Law of Moses commanded the Jews to provide for such people. 

vs 6 It is interesting that despite the fact that Christians had sold their possessions and given them to the church, that the church leaders - Peter and John - didn't have any silver or gold on them, which is a rebuke to those who hoard up riches for themselves through religous activities. We remember that Judas used to be the one to hold the money bag and steal from it. (John 12:6)

Peter shared not a material gift, but a spiritual gift. He had been given miraculous powers, which he generously utilized in helping others. Of course such a gift is rare today, but we all have spiritual gifts  we can use to generously help others.

vs 8-11 This man no doubt became a Christian and as such became a testimony to the legitimacy of the Apostle's teachings and thus a threat to the Jewish religious establishment as chapter 4 indicates. But this would also provide an opportunity for Peter's second sermon.




The Berean Christian Bible Study Resources Jul 29,2015