Acts 3:1-11

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.

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.

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.

The fact is that Peter and John went to the temple at the hour of prayer because Israel had not yet been set aside and this was still God’s appointed house of prayer.

They were most faithful to their great commission, for under that commission (which was based upon the covenants and prophecies) the conversion of the nations must begin with the conversion of the nation — Israel (Zechariah 8:13; Luke 24:47; Acts 1:8; 3:25-26).

Nor were these men unspiritual for clinging to Judaism and its ceremonies, for no revelation had yet been given that because of the cross the Mosaic law could be set aside. — Stam, pages 126-127

ninth hour (v.1) — 3:00 pm — the hour for sacrifice and prayer

The lame man was more than 40 years old — Acts 4:22

lame from his birth (v.2) — Luke’s observation as a physician

Beautiful Gate (v.2) — We do not meet with this name elsewhere, and so it is difficult to identify the door in question. The most probable conjecture is that it is identical with the gate of Herod’s temple which was known as “the gate Nicanor.” This was on the east side of the “Court of the Israelites” and was reached by a flight of fourteen or fifteen steps from the “Court of the Women.” In other words, it was the main entrance from the east into the innermost court. All the temple gates to this innermost court had folding doors, covered with gold and silver; but Josephus tells us that this one was much larger than the rest, being fifty cubits high and forty cubits broad. It was made of Corinthian brass, “adorned after a most costly manner” with thicker and richer plates of gold than the other gates. Others have supposed the beautiful gate or door to be the gate “Shushan” (lily), which appears to have been on the east of the “Court of the Women;” through it ingress was had from the “Court of the Gentiles.” There is however considerable uncertainty as to its exact locality. Josephus’s description of the more handsome of the gates has been appropriated to this gate “Shushan,” erroneously, as it would seem. — Walker, page 65

alms (v.2) = lit. “pity” or “mercy” — by extension, the expression of mercy

fastening his eyes (v.4) — same verb as “looking steadfastly” in Acts 1:10

gave heed (v.5) — directed his mind, expectation

in the name of Jesus Christ (v.6) — by virtue of His power and authority

His feet and ankle bones (v.7) — The former of these two nouns means, literally, “the soles of the feet,” on which man steps. Both that and the following noun “ankle-bones” are peculiar to this one passage in the New Testament, and both are of a technical character and accord with the professional knowledge of the writer as a physician. — Walker, page 68

received strength (v.7) — so as to perform their proper functions — a medical term

The man stood for the first time in his life. He not only had the strength to walk, but knew how.

praising God (v.8) — The man followed Peter and John but gave credit to God.

amazement (v.10) = astonishment — a great disturbance of mind

held (v.11) = clung to

Solomon’s Porch (v.11) — The outer court of the temple, “the Court of the Gentiles,” was surrounded by porticoes, of which those on the north, west and east formed double cloisters, with two rows of white marble monolithic columns supporting a roof of carved cedar. Of these porticoes or cloisters, that on the east, as Josephus tells us, was called “Solomon’s Porch.” He attributes it to the time of Solomon, but we are rather to understand that it was the work of Herod, the name of Solomon being attached to it for traditional reasons unknown to us. It was a place of common resort for frequenters of the temple, and it is interesting to remember that our Lord delivered there. His beautiful discourse about the Good Shepherd (John 10:23). — Walker, page 70


What a comparison we have here between the nation Israel and the believing remnant! Israel had never been able to walk since the day that God took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt (Jeremiah 31:32). And now Israel had sought temporal deliverance and earthly prosperity like the lame man begging here for an alms. An alms indeed it would have proved, too, had Israel been granted her wish, for she needed more than temporal deliverance and prosperity. She needed redemption from sin (Matthew 1:21; Acts 3:26; Romans 11:26). The price of this redemption was not silver and gold but the blood of the new covenant (Jeremiah 31:31-34; Matthew 26:28). Now Israel lay at the threshold of millennial blessing, as it were, but without redemption and the Spirit, she lacked the strength to enter in and could but remain a helpless beggar. Some years after the healing of the lame man, Peter wrote to the Jewish believers of his day:

Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot (1 Peter 1:18-19).

There was the rub. Israel was seeking deliverance from her troubles but not from her sin. She would not repent. Therefore the nation was laid as a helpless beggar outside the temple, while the true worshipers, the “little flock,” worshiped daily within! And it was this despised remnant that had what Israel needed to help her rise to her feet and enter the temple too. Indeed, the burning question now was: would she even yet receive it?

What a foreshadowing of millennial blessing to come, and what a sign of blessing proffered Israel then, at Pentecost, as Peter lifts the beggar by the right hand, saying: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk (v.6).

Suddenly the lame beggar has become a worshiper and he enters with them into the temple walking and leaping and praising God!

For the present Israel still remains spiritually a poor, helpless beggar, outside of the presence of God, but the blessed day will come when the chosen nation will be saved and with the resurrected remnant will enter before God with songs of rejoicing. — Stam, pages 128-129.

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