Acts 3:1 ¶ Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour.
Acts 3:2 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;
Acts 3:3 Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms.
Acts 3:4 And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us.
Acts 3:5 And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them.
Acts 3:6 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.
Acts 3:7 And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.
Acts 3:8 And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.
This chapter opens with a miracle performed by Peter and John at the gate to the temple identified as the “Beautiful” gate. Luke again is specific to the time—the hour of prayer, the ninth hour, about 3:00 p.m. The NIV Commentary tells us that: “The stated times for prayer in Judaism were (1) early in the morning, in connection with the morning sacrifice; (2) at the ninth hour of the day (about three o’clock), in connection with the evening sacrifice; and (3) at sunset.”
It seems that there was a man that had been lame from birth that was brought there every day to ask alms—to beg. In the next chapter we are told that the man was 40 years old, so it would seem that this had been his practice for a long time and that he would have been widely recognized. He asked for a donation from Peter and John as they were headed into the temple. Both apostles fixed their eyes upon the man, and Peter told the man to look at them. The man complied expecting to receive some money. Peter then declared that they had no money to give him, but they did have a something for him. He then commanded the man to get up and walk “in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.” Peter then took the man by the hand and lifted him up, and simultaneously the man’s feet and ankles were strengthened. In fact, the man was able to leap up to a standing position and begin walking with them into the temple. He didn’t just walk beside them; he jumped around praising God to express his thanks and happiness.
This is the first (that Luke chooses to tell us) of many signs and wonders done by the apostles following Pentecost demonstrating the supernatural empowerment of the Spirit that caused the people to respond in fear or awe (cf 2:43).
“silver and gold have I none” – This is just one of many scriptures that refute the message propagated by prosperity preachers today. Even Jesus was a poor man.
Matthew 8:20 “And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.”
Ironside relates an interesting story in connection with verse 6. “That great scholar, Thomas Aquinas, came to the city of Rome to pay his respects to the one who was then pope. In the course of his visit, the pope proudly showed him all the wonders of the papal palace and took him to his treasury and showed him chests of silver and gold received from every part of the world. With something of a smile on his face, he said, ‘You see, Brother Thomas, we cannot say, as did the first pope, ‘Silver and gold have I none.’ (The Catholic church claims Peter was the first pope.) Thomas Aquinas looked the pope in the eye and fearlessly replied, ‘No, and neither can you say, ‘In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.’”
Acts 3:9 And all the people saw him walking and praising God:
Acts 3:10 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.
Acts 3:11 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.
Everyone that saw this man joyfully walking and leaping around Peter and John recognized him as the man that had begged at the Beautiful gate of the temple for so many years. They were greatly surprised that he had been healed. Soon there was a large crowd gathered around Peter, John and the man in Solomon’s porch, the outer court area of the temple on the eastern side.
Acts 3:12 ¶ 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?
Acts 3:13 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.
Acts 3:14 But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you;
Acts 3:15 And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses.
Acts 3:16 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.
Peter decided to take advantage of such a large audience and basically said, “Why are you looking at us like that?” He declared that it wasn’t by their own power or holiness that this miracle had occurred. He explained that God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, had performed this miracle through them to glorify His Son Jesus—that same Jesus they had delivered up to Pilate and insisted that he be put to death even though Pilate had wanted to let Him go. They had asked Pilate to release a murderer (Barabbas, cf Mark 15:11) rather than “the Holy One and the Just,” Jesus, an innocent man. They insisted that “the Prince of life” be killed. Though He was crucified, Peter and John were eyewitnesses to the fact that God raised Jesus from the dead.
Note that Peter was identifying his audience as participants in and guilty of the death of Jesus.
It is also interesting to note that the Greek for the word “Son” is the word for servant. Jesus had always been clear to declare that He came to serve the Father, to do the work of the Father.
John 5:36 “But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me.”
John 17:1–4 “These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.”
Peter declared that it was faith in the name of Jesus that had made this man whole again—a miracle they could not deny because they had known this man to be lame for years.
It is obvious to me that the faith that brought about this miracle was rooted in Peter and John. The lame man had no clue that he was about to be healed; he thought he was going to be given some money. Peter even declared that healing faith was by or through Jesus—a faith given by Him to accomplish His will.
Acts 3:17 And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers.
Acts 3:18 But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled.
After boldly pointing the finger of blame at the crowd for the death of Jesus, Peter began to soften his message. He acknowledged that their actions were due to ignorance—both on the part of the people as well as their spiritual leaders. However, their ignorance was not excusable. The prophets had declared how the Messiah should suffer—especially Isaiah in chapter 53—and these prophecies had been fulfilled in Jesus.
Note that the message of God’s prophets revealed His plan and purposes. It was God’s will that Christ should suffer.
Acts 3:19 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;
Acts 3:20 And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:
Acts 3:21 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” = Webster: to reconsider, to change the mind or the course of conduct
“times” = a set or proper time; a fixed, pre-determined time
In light of the truth Peter had just proclaimed, he calls for the people to repent of their sin and rejection of the Messiah and turn back to the God of their fathers in faith. If they do, they will have their sins wiped away and can look forward to experiencing the times of refreshing that will begin with the return of Jesus Christ. Jesus is in heaven until God’s appointed time for the fulfillment of God’s plan as foretold by His holy prophets. When Jesus returns, He will usher in “the times of restitution of all things.” I think this is talking about the establishment of Israel in fellowship with God and the lifting of the curse on creation during the millennial kingdom.
Deuteronomy 30:1–6 “And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath driven thee, And shalt return unto the LORD thy God, and shalt obey his voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul; That then the LORD thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath scattered thee….And the LORD thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it; and he will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers. And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.”
Jeremiah 33:14–16 “Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will perform that good thing which I have promised unto the house of Israel and to the house of Judah. In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land. In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The LORD our righteousness.”
Isaiah 11:6–10 “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea. And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.”
Zechariah 8:3–5 “Thus saith the LORD; I am returned unto Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and Jerusalem shall be called a city of truth; and the mountain of the LORD of hosts the holy mountain. Thus saith the LORD of hosts; There shall yet old men and old women dwell in the streets of Jerusalem, and every man with his staff in his hand for very age. And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in the streets thereof.”
Acts 3:22 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.
Acts 3:23 And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.
Peter goes on to quote from Moses in declaring Jesus as God’s prophet as well as His servant. The Jews recognized these verses in Deuteronomy as a reference to the Messiah.
Deuteronomy 18:17–19 “And the LORD said unto me….I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.”
Point is made that anyone that rejects the prophet Jesus will “be destroyed from among the people.” In other words, they will face condemnation and not allowed to fellowship with God in the kingdom.
John 3:3 “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Acts 3:24 Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days.
Peter again emphasizes that all the prophets beginning with Samuel foretold the days of Messiah. I could not find a prophecy from Samuel; however, the book of Samuel records a prophecy given by Nathan to David. God promised David that one of his seed would rule from his throne over an eternal kingdom—a reference to the Messiah.
2 Samuel 7:4–13 “And it came to pass that night, that the word of the LORD came unto Nathan, saying, Go and tell my servant David….I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more; neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more, as beforetime….And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever.”
Isaiah affirmed this truth.
Isaiah 9:6–7 “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever.”
Acts 3:25 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.
Acts 3:26 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.
Peter reminds his audience that they are descendants of the prophets and Abraham. God made a covenant with Abraham that through his seed all the people on planet earth were to be blessed.
Genesis 12:1–3 “Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.”
That blessing was to come through the Messiah, God’s Servant Son, Jesus. Jesus came first to Israel, to the Jewish people, to plead with them to turn away from their sin and turn back to God in faith and obedience.
I’ll close with another good quote from David Guzik: “The lame man at the Beautiful Gate wanted something; but God wanted to give him something much greater. The same was generally true of the Jewish people Peter preached to. They expected the Messiah in a certain way, but God wanted to give them something much greater. They looked for a political and military Messiah, and not so much one to turn every one of you from your iniquities. It shows how important it is for us to expect the right things from God.”