Acts 3 - Outline of Acts (MENU page)
1. Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, [being] 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 of them that entered into the temple;
3 Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms.
...Peter and John...-
Barely two months have passed since these two disciples went together into the empty tomb (Joh 20:2-9).
...went up into the temple...-
While the Temple stood, and before persecution scattered them, the early Christians prayed together in the temple (Acts 2:46). This practice was a prophetic preview of the future day when God's "house shall be called an house of prayer for all people." As prophesied in Isaiah 56:7,8, and affirmed by Jesus (Mat 21:13).
...at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour {ie., about 3 pm}.-
The morning and evening sacrifices (Ex 29:38,39) were offered at the third and ninth hours (about 9 am and 3 pm), respectively. These sacrifices were occasions for prayer (as Zacharias offered in Luk 1:5,8-10). Although prayer was not limited to these times (Psa 55:17; Dan 6:10; 9:21).
     It was at the ninth hour, that Jesus completed His sacrifice, offering Himself, with prayer to the Father (Luk 23:44-46).
And a certain man...- This man, though unnamed, was well known and recognized by the local people.
Being unable to work, due to his infirmity, he was stationed every day at the temple entrance, where the thronging worshippers could not miss seeing and hearing him. While the passing multitudes associated him with this gate (v.10), the beggar's impoverished and crippled condition was in stark contrast to the beauty and rich ornamentation of the temple. The beggar's innate condition had remained unchanged, though his life had been spent in the midst of this glorious place of worship.
...asked an alms {lit., "a deed of mercy," ie., a charitable contribution}-
The man's livelihood depended on donations from those who passed by.
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.
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.
...such as I have give I thee...- What did Peter have?
Peter and John were in communion with the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 2:42), who had filled them with the Holy Spirit. Their interaction with this man was neither impulsive nor presumptive. Rather, they were sensitive and obedient to the Spirit's leading.
     The Lord did not give His apostles earthly riches (silver and gold). But He worked powerfully through them to raise the spiritually impoverished into His glory (1Cor 4:11; 2Cor 6:10; 8:9). In sad contrast, today's church enjoys beautiful buildings and great wealth, but has lost its power (Rev 3:17-19).
7 And he took him by the right hand, and lifted [him] up:
and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.
8 And he leaping up stood, and walked,
and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.
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 he... entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping and praising God.-
This miraculous healing forms the introduction to Peter's second sermon. In his first sermon, he opened the way of salvation to Jewish individuals, who would believe (2:38,39). In his second sermon, Peter points the nation of Israel, to the Messiah whom they had rejected, but who will yet restore them, when they receive Him. The leaping lame man was a sign to Israel that their Messiah had indeed come (Isa 35:6).
...and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened to him.-
The people were eager to hear an explanation for this miracle.
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?
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.
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.
Ye men of Israel...-
Note that Peter is addressing the nation of Israel. This passage does not apply to the church or to gentile people.
The God of Abraham... Isaac... Jacob...- (Ex 3:15; Psa 105:6-11)
Peter directs the nation's attention to the LORD who had established His everlasting covenant with Israel. It was He, who had 'glorified' {GK=doxazo, honored, magnified} His Son, through this miracle, in that the man was healed through placing his faith in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth (v.6,16).
...whom ye delivered up... denied... desired a murderer...- (Luk 23:13-25)
The One they had.denied {GK=arneomai, refused, rejected} was the Holy {GK=hagios, set apart} and Just {GK=dikaios, righteous} One. 'The Holy One' refers to the LORD Himself, who is also the Redeemer of His people (Isa 47:4; 49:7; Psa 16:10). The Messiah was set apart to accomplish that redemption. In Him, the LORD Himself would become the salvation of Israel (Isa 12:2). He presented Himself, to the nation, as the Righteous One (Zech 9:9), who, being without sin, offered Himself as the Lamb of God (Heb 4:15; Joh 1:29; 10:17,18).
...and killed the Prince {GK=archegos, prince, captain, chief, author} of Life...-
This One, whom they had put to death, is the Source of Life (Joh 1:4; 5:25,26; 11:25,26; 17:2; Heb 2:10; 5:9; 1Joh 5:11,12).
...whom God raised from the dead...-
Here, the word for 'raised' is GK= egeiro, to arouse, to awaken. This word, which occurs often, refers to a change of state (eg., v.6,7, rise, lifted up), including being raised from the state of death (Mat 11:5; 16:21; 17:23).
By raising Jesus, God had declared Him to be His holy Son (Rom 1:3,4). Because of who Jesus is, death could not hold Him (Acts 2:23,24).
his name... through {GK=epeimi, following the placement of) faith in his name hath made this man strong...
...the faith which is by {GK=dia, by means of} him hath given him this perfect soundness...-
Peter and John had not healed the man. The effective means to his healing was faith in Jesus Christ of Nazareth (v.6).
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.
and now, brethren...- Peter is addressing his natural brothers, the children of Israel. (cf. Rom 9:1-5)
...I wot {ie., I know} that through ignorance ye did it... as did also your rulers...- 1Cor 2:7,8
Peter is not placing the blame for Christ's death on any individual, but on the nation and its leaders, who had acted in ignorance of God's Word...
...but those things, which God before had showed... he hath so {GK=houtos, in this way} fulfilled...-
The prophecies concerning the suffering and death of the Messiah had been fulfilled by the hands of the ignorant nation. Acts 2:23; 13:27
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;
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.
Repent {GK=metanoeo, have a change of mind} ye therefore, and be converted {GK=epistrepho, turn around, turn toward}...
They had acted in ignorance. But now that they understood what God was doing and that Jesus is the Christ, it was imperative that they change their thinking concerning Him, and turn in faith to Christ.
...that your sins may be blotted out...-
The call is to the nation to repent and receive the Messiah whom they had rejected. If they would do so, their national sins toward the Messiah (v.13-15) would be blotted out from the record (Isa 43:25). Note that this purging of their sins would occur at a specific time and for a specific purpose...
...when {or, that} the time of refreshing {ie., of obtaining of relief} shall come from... the Lord...-
Scripture foretells that, when Israel repents and turns to their Messiah, they will be cleansed of their sin (Deu 4:27-31; Zech 12:10; 13:1; Jer 50:20).
...and he shall send Jesus Christ... whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution {GK=apokatastasis, restoration)...-
In that future day, Jesus the Christ will return from heaven to re-establish the Davidic kingdom upon the earth, according to numerous prophecies (eg., Isa 2:1-3; 51:11; 54:1-14; Jer 33:15-26; Hos 2:19-23).
     Through Peter's admonition, God was offering the nation one more opportunity to bring in that time of restoration. Although the King had recently offered Himself and been rejected, He was ready to return again to them. If they would repent and place their faith in the Christ, as the lame man had done, they too would be restored to strength and perfect soundness.
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.
for Moses truly said...- Peter quotes from Deu 18:15-19.
The long expected Prophet, who, like Moses, would be the unquestioned leader of the nation had come.
  • Jesus is that prophet, for God had indeed raised Him up. The word for 'raised up' {GK=anistemi, cause to stand} is used, in the NT, both of elevation to prominent position, and of resurrection from sickness or death. Peter's argument embraces both meanings. 'We know this is the prophet that God would raise up, because God raised Him from the dead.' (See this word in v.22,26; cp. v.15, where a different word for 'raised' refers to His being 'awaken' out of death.)
  • Therefore, it was incumbent upon the nation to give heed to Him.
  • Those who would not hear Him would be 'destroyed from among' {lit., utterly cut out of} the nation.
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.
...and all the prophets from Samuel... foretold of these days...-
The hundreds of prophecies concerning Christ's first and second comings are too numerous to list here. The testimony of Moses (v.22,23) and the reference to Samuel serve to emphasize the need to heed God's Word and repent, lest the nation be dispersed (Jer 15:1).
ye are the children of the prophets... of the covenant...-
God's promise, to bless all nations through the seed of Abraham, was fulfilled in Jesus (Gen 12:3; 22:18; Gal 3:16).
unto you first...-
God sent His Son into the world through the nation of Israel (Rom 9:4,5). Therefore, the Jewish people and nation were given the first opportunity to hear the Gospel and believe. Had they turned to Him in repentance and faith, He would have returned to remove their iniquities from them (v.19-21).
How would the nation respond? (This question is answered without delay, in the next chapter.)

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