Go Deeper


The following comments are designed to help you better understand the passage and stimulate your thinking on the implications of the scripture.

The following comments are designed to help you better understand the passage and stimulate your thinking on the implications of the scripture passage.

Peter and John encounter the man who was lame from birth at the Beautiful Gate. Darrell Bock explains:

It is often associated with the Nicanor Gate… The Nicanor (or Corinthian) Gate was bronze, larger than the other gates, and heavily adorned. Josephus describes the elaborate nature of these gates; eight were overloaded with gold and silver and one with bronze. When opened for special occasions, this gate was a popular way to reach the temple, an important consideration for those seeking alms… It allowed access to the Court of Women and Gentiles. (Bock, Acts, 160)

The man stations himself at this gate so he could ask alms of as many people as possible. This included women and Gentiles (non-Jews) who would go to the outer courts of the temple. It is in this heavily trafficked area that Peter and John perform this miracle. This man is known to many of the people because surely they had seen him there day after day.

Luke in his medical expertise draws particular attention to this man’s healing.

Then instantly, Dr Luke continues, the man’s feet and ankles became strong (7b) — so strong and agile that he jumped to his feet and began to walk, which he had never done before. Not only so, but he now accompanied the apostles into the temple courts, and all the time walking and jumping, and praising God (8). It was an outstanding fulfillment of the Messianic prophecy: “Then will the lame leap like a deer.” A crowed quickly gathered. For they saw him walking and praising God (9). This is the fourth time that Luke describes the man as walking, as if to emphasize the incredible fact that his poor crippled legs and feet were now for the first time fully operational. (Stott, The Message of Acts, 91)

This miraculous display of power gathers a crowd of people to whom Peter begins preaching. He tells them that it is not his power that healed this man. Rather, Jesus is the one who healed him. Again, this hints at the fact that Jesus is continuing his mission from heaven through the Church. In his gospel message, he again highlights their responsibility for killing “the Author of Life,” Jesus’ resurrection from the dead, and a call to repentance.

In his sermon, Peter also points to the day Christ returns. He tells us that Christ will remain in heaven “until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago.” In talking about this restoration, John Stott says:

[This word] is more naturally understood of the eschatological “restoration,” which Jesus called “regeneration,” when nature will be liberated from its bondage to pain and decay and God will make a new heaven and earth. This final perfection awaits the return of Christ. (Stott, The Message of Acts, 94)

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