12 And through the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were done among the people. And they were all with one accord in Solomon’s Porch.
13 Yet none of the rest dared join them, but the people esteemed them highly.
14 And believers were increasingly added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women,
15 so that they brought the sick out into the streets and laid them on beds and couches, that at least the shadow of Peter passing by might fall on some of them.
16 Also a multitude gathered from the surrounding cities to Jerusalem, bringing sick people and those who were tormented by unclean spirits, and they were all healed.
Although the apostles had been charged to stop teaching, they were still doing so, and publicly, in the temple.
signs and wonders (v.12) — see Acts 2:23
done (v.12) = continued taking place
the rest (v.12) — those who didn’t believe — there were probably a lot of people who were drawn to the apostles’ teaching and miracles but were too afraid to join their assembly
multitudes (v.14) — the only place in the New Testament where this word appears in the plural
beds (15) — perhaps a nicer bed, but small
couches (v.15) — pallets, a poor man’s bed
This is a thoroughly Oriental picture and very interesting. Even today in the Orient people imagine a man’s shadow carries his influence, and parents will run to draw their children away from the shadow of someone they dislike; while on the other hand, should some honored person pass by, they will endeavor the have the children come within his shadow, hoping thereby to bring good fortune on them. These Orientals were so impressed by the power that Peter possessed that, when he was passing along a certain street or road, they brought their sick into the streets, so that his shadow might fall upon them. We are not told that anyone was healed in this way. — Lectures on the Book of Acts, by H.A. Ironsides, page 135
Even if those in Peter’s shadow were healed, it was God who healed them, not the shadow.
gathered (v.16) = continued coming
surrounding cities (v.16) — the first indication that the message had spread beyond Jerusalem