Study Notes on Acts 3:1 – 16
The Power of the Resurrected Christ

1) The Church Context

People were committed to what God wants

 “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.” Acts 2:42

Many miracles were being performed

“Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles.” Acts 2:43

  • Of the many miracles Luke selects this healing

And church was growing

“And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.” Acts 2:47

The Importance of this miracle

  • The healing enables Peter to preach a sermon that brings the number of the church to 5000 men (Acts 3:11 – 4:4)
  • As a result of Peters sermon, the religious authorities decide to persecute Peter & John (Acts 4:5 – 22)
  • The apostles then pray for boldness (Acts 4: 23 – 31)

2) An Unexpected Miracle (v 1 – 6)

“Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. And a man lame from birth was being carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple that is called the Beautiful Gate to ask alms of those entering the temple. Seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked to receive alms.” Acts 3:1-3

A shrewd location (v 1,2)

  • At the time of prayer (v1), the godly, those most likely to give, would be entering the temple
  • The fate of many crippled was that they were not taught a trade, but left to beg (e.g. John 9:1,8 – the blind man)
  • Self-esteem and self-worth often come from being able to obey Gods command of providing for yourself and others (2 Thess 3:12)

A material desire (v 3)

“seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked for alms” v3

  • The man was almost certainly outside the Christian community – they sold possessions and gave to those in need (Acts 2:44 – 47)
  • Peter and John – simply nameless worshippers? Was money all he hoped for? He asked, but did not look at the apostles v 4

Our Lord’s gift (v 4 -7)

“And Peter directed his gaze at him, as did John, and said, “Look at us.” And he fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them. But Peter said, “I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!”” Acts 3:4 – 6

  • They did not have wealth, but they did have Christ
  • Christ working through Peter – the man had to know who healed him
  • A wonderful display of Christ’s love directed to a needy individual
  • The only help the man thought was possible was financial help for the moment, but Christ’s healing would enable him to provide for himself

3) The Response to The Miracle (v7 – 10)

“And he took him by the right hand and raised him up, and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong. And leaping up, he stood and began to walk, and entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God, and recognized him as the one who sat at the Beautiful Gate of the temple, asking for alms. And they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.” Acts 7 – 10

The crippled man responded to Christ’s Invitation through Peter

  • Jesus had healed in the temple before His death (Matt 21:14,15), yet this man was not healed
  • Jesus – one who didn’t heal me last time He was in the temple?
  • This man must of heard about Jesus’s death (Luke 24:18)
  • Jesus – the one who was crucified, that awful criminals’ death?
  • Jesus – the one who is dead? Can a dead man help me?

In spite of the odds, the crippled man responded

  • The man responded by attempting to stand – not having received what he really wanted (money)
  • Yet his need meant he followed Peter’s request

Remember witnessing is not about our strengths

  • We may not have wealth, but we can share greater riches – eternal life
  • We may not have power, status or influence – but we can share one who has all these
  • We may be very aware of the frailty and temporary nature of our bodies – but we can share the gift of eternal life, i.e. NO FEAR OF DEATH!

Witnessing is all about who we are sharing with others

  • The man’s expectation was material, similarly we live in a material society
  • To people used to buying what they need and things to satisfy or give pleasure, we respond in saying:

“Believe in one who lived, died, and rose again about 2000 years ago.”

  • Yet the man still responded …

4) The Miracle Explained (v 11 – 16)

“While he clung to Peter and John, all the people, utterly astounded, ran together to them in the portico called Solomon’s. And when Peter saw it he addressed the people: “Men of Israel, why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we have made him walk? The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified his servant Jesus, whom you delivered over and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release him. But you denied the Holy and Righteous One, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses. And his name—by faith in his name—has made this man strong whom you see and know, and the faith that is through Jesus has given the man this perfect health in the presence of you all.” Acts 3: 11 – 16

Jesus serves the One True God

  • v13 starts with a quote from Exodus 3:6, when God appeared to Moses
  • Jesus is the servant of the one true God

“Peter and John were men of humility. I believe the moment of greatest potential peril for Peter was when he took the lame man by the hand and lifted him to his feet. How easy it would have been for Peter to say, “Hey, look what just happened! I had this surge of faith and power and I grabbed this man, and he’s now walking and leaping. This calls for the birth of a new ministry: THE APOSTLE PETER HEALING MINISTRIES INTERNATIONAL. I hope we got a picture of this. I can put it on my prayer calendar. I can take this guy on tour!” In the next verse, however, we see Peter do exactly the opposite.” Jon Courson

“If you’re a musician or a Sunday-school teacher, a writer or a singer, a pastor or a worship leader, know this: The quickest way to be taken out of ministry is to say, ‘I want my name exalted.’” Jon Courson

They had killed and rejected the Author of Life – they need forgiveness

  1. The Jews demanded Christ’s death when Pilate had decided to let Him go
  2. Disowning the Holy and Righteous One, they wanted a murderer released
  3. Israel killed the Author of life, but God raised Him from the dead

Yet faith in Jesus (the apostles’ faith, not the man’s) produced the miracle!