Peter and John Heal a Lame Man
Study Scripture: Acts 3:1-16
Lesson
3

 We pray that by studying this lesson you will be edified and immensely blessed.  Email your questions or comments concerning this study to questions@7thdaybaptistchurch.org  If you wish to use or reproduce content from this web site please see guides lines for use.

Key Verse

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 3:6

INTRODUCTION

Today we look at witnessing under the power of the Holy Spirit.  We see clearly the power of the resurrected Christ working through the Apostles, men who were now totally committed to a lifestyle of witnessing, telling about their new, power filled and exciting relationship with their Savior Redeemer, Jesus Christ.  

We note how God sets up opportunities for his people to be a witness for him and to testify about their relationship with Jesus Christ.  Here we see the opportunity to witness in the normal activities of everyday life.  

We must pay attention to the fact that as we go about our daily business, God provides the opportunities for Christians to show their God to those with whom we come into contact.  

There should be a joy, a excitement, a thrill and a deep fulfillment in living the everyday, normal Christian life.   

There is no life like it, for the Holy Spirit provides us with the special and extraordinary power and joy that comes from possessing Him. We do have pain, sorrow and sometimes fears, for we are all human beings, but in all that, we know that God is with us and will be walking with us, even when we are in the valley of the shadow of death.  

We then fear no evil, for the presence of the Holy Spirit empowers and enables us to face everything that life can throw at us.  We need to constantly remind ourselves of this and since we are forgetful of the many mercies of God and we do not constantly count our many blessings, we pray that the brethren will also remind us constantly, of the empowering presence of the Holy Spirit.  

Luke selects a particular miracle from the many wonders and signs done through the Apostles, likely done to show us what it means to have a lifestyle of witnessing under the power of the Spirit. Further, they made it apparent that the power by which they performed these miracles was not their own; that in every case they pointed the hearers to Christ as the source and the one to whom the glory belongs.  It was not merely for the benefit of an individual, but that it would lead to an opportunity to present the gospel to unbelievers in such a way, that they could not deny the truth; that salvation as well as healing would lead to the praise and glory of God.  

It is to be noted that the story of the healing of the lame man provides the second occasion for a large crowd to gather and Peter preaches a second recorded sermon in Jerusalem . The miracle at Pentecost however and the message that followed, was very different from the miracle we look at today, the message that followed and the results.  

First, we note that the healing of the lame was a fulfillment of the Messianic promise of healing the lame in Isaiah 35 and accordingly, Jesus did that miracle to authenticate who he was, his role and his work. So here we will expect that this is a miracle of authentication of the presence of Messiah working through the Apostles.  

In fact, the healing of the lame seemed to have been so significant, that when the faith of John the Baptist wavered and he seemed to doubt whether or not Jesus was Messiah, Jesus pointed to the healing of the lame as one of the evidences that he was in fact the Messiah.  (See Matthew 11. Note also Matthew 21:14-16.) 

So we can see the work of the Spirit continuing to develop and we would expect to see the work of Satan in opposition mounting also.  

The differences and developments show up clearly. At Pentecost three thousand were saved but now five thousand are saved.  At Pentecost the people had time to ask the disciples what they had to do to be saved, but now there was not even time for the people to ask what they had to do to be saved.   

Opposition to the gospel had begun in earnest. People arrived to arrest Peter and John and put them in jail, holding them for trial on the next day.  

Peter's message is different from that at Pentecost and testimony of the one who benefited from the miracle was dramatically new and refreshing.  Some undoubtedly will find in this, some example and guide for their reaction to the work of the Spirit at the time of salvation and healing.  

Now we will look at witnessing under the Spirit.

 

THE TEXT

Verse 1.   This verse begins to catalogue the specific acts of the apostles, following the events of the Day of Pentecost and Peter’s heart wrenching testimony that was delivered with such power and conviction, that it lead to three thousand souls being saved.  

The scripture tells us that many wonders and signs were performed by the apostles (Acts 2:43).  Of all the miracles that they performed, Luke moved by the Holy Spirit, recorded in some detail the healing of this lame man.  

The Jewish day was divided into twelve equal parts, of which there were three occasions during the day for public prayer; the 3rd, 6th and 9th hour that is approximately 9am, 12noon and 3pm.  

David in Psalm 55:17 says, “Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.”  In the book of Acts we see three distinct times also mentioned Acts 2:15, 10:9, 3:1.  

It was the ninth hour (3pm) and traditionally the hour of prayer and it was for this reason that Peter and John were going to the temple. We are told that going to the temple was part of the daily routine (Acts 2:46).  In Luke 24:53, it is said that the apostles were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. The Apostles clearly saw no problem in continuing their Jewish custom of prayer at certain times of today.  Some however like to avoid these facts in their urge to forsake everything Jewish.  But note that for them this was a normal, everyday activity.  Their lifestyle always opened the door for witnessing.

 

Verse 2.   Here was a man who was a cripple from birth, over forty years according to Acts 4: 22.   Evidently unable walk he was carried to the temple everyday to beg alms.  Luke takes the time to record these details to establish the greatness and incontestable nature of this miracle.  

This man was evidently well known to be a cripple by those frequenting the temple and this was established by his many years of begging at the most trafficked of the Temple gates.   

There was no welfare system in that day; the poor were heavily dependent on the charity of those in better circumstances.  Thus it was important that the sick and destitute be where they would be most exposed to people.  Hence, it was customary to place them at the gates of rich men Luke 16:20; and they also sat by the highway to beg where many persons would pass, (Mark10:46; Luke 18:35;John 9:1-8). The entrance to the temple would be a favorable place for begging; for many people would pass there every day and for the purposes of religion, one be more inclined to give alms to the needy.  

There are different opinions concerning the gate called Beautiful, where the lame man was placed.  Regardless of which one may subscribe too, the one thing we can note is that its appearance was magnificent.  The Jewish historian Josephus tells us this gate was seventy five feet high with huge double doors and made of Corinthian brass, adorned with larger plates of silver and gold than the other nine gates.  

We must remember that the presence of this lame beggar at this the busiest gate of the Temple , shows the tragic state of the Jewish system existing then.  The Law of Moses made all kinds of special provisions for support of the poor and this lame beggar should never have had to resort to this kind of begging, especially at the gate of the Temple . The presence of this man is a clear picture of the desperate spiritual condition of Israel , for it shows that though they were at the Temple , they were far from obeying God  

We should be aware that when we disobey the Commandments of God, we are an embarrassment to Him and He will allow the different kinds of embarrassments to position themselves right at the place of worship, so that there will be a testimony against our hypocrisy.  No wonder judgment will begin at the House of God.

 

Verse 3.  Note that there is no indication that Peter and John were going to the Temple for a healing ceremony. They were on their ‘normal’ everyday business, but since they were filled with the Spirit, they were sensitive to people around them and looked on every situation as one designed for them to get involved and testify of Christ.  In fact, when we look at this, we realize that there is no such thing as a normal day as the world sees it, for the Spirit is doing things of eternal consequence in normal daily activity.  

Some are puzzled by the fact that this man had never been healed by Jesus, for we know that Jesus would have passed by Gate Beautiful quite frequently and would most likely have seen this lame man who had been constantly brought to the Temple for a long, long time.

But it might have been that since he could not move and had to be carried to his special spot every day, he might not have been able to reach Jesus, if Jesus did not pass by close to him.  Since we know that a crowd always followed Jesus, he might not have been able to call out loudly enough, so that Jesus would hear him.   

But it is also clear that God has his time to do what He wants and until that time comes, things will always go on as usual.  When God's plans slip into high gear and the fullness of time comes, the things that could never have happened before or at any other time will happen. The man was there at that time appointed by God and Peter and John were there at that time.  The crowd God wanted to be there were also there at that appointed time.  

As Peter and John are passing to enter the temple, the crippled man asked them for some alms.  There is no evidence that he was acquainted with them or knew who they were. He asked of them as he was accustomed to do of the multitude that entered the Temple .   

The lame man simply wanted some money, some support so that he could stay in exactly the condition that he was in, he was not looking forward to any radical change in the circumstances. However it is likely Peter and John as well as all those that went to the temple, were well aware of this man’s ailment.  

It is not clear at all that the man had faith in any possibility that he would be healed.  He might have had some faith that Jesus could have healed him if only he could get close to him, but if that was so, he probably would have had his hopes crushed when he heard that Jesus was taken to the Cross. It is therefore not clear that the man’s faith was instrumental in his healing.

 

Verse 4.   There was no prior discussion or lengthy deliberation between Peter and John, as to what they were going to do for this lame man; neither did they require a worship service to invoke the healing power. Rather it seems that Peter and John were suddenly moved by the Holy Spirit, their acting in unison confirmation of the will of the Holy Spirit.  

Together they fixed their eyes on him and demanded his full attention – saying ‘look on us’.  The intent was not to draw personal attention, but that he was not distracted when they revealed to him the ultimate source of his healing; thereby leaving no doubt in his mind.

 

Verse 5.   The lame man responded by giving his undivided attention expecting to receive something from them. It was customary for those attending the temple to carry money to put into the temple treasury and or give to the poor; it is most likely then that he expected to receive money.  

The action of the Apostles served an important purpose, for it aroused in the man a sense of expectation, something which always quickens faith.  The man expected to receive what he thought was money and this expectation, though of imperfect faith, put him on the road on which everybody who expects to receive anything from God must be.  

The people we talk to must first expect to receive something from us, even though what they often expect might not be exactly what they want.  The persons we meet might want support to stay in the mess that they are in, but the Apostles and us should have no interest in supporting people to stay in their mess, for God through us, wants to transform the lives of those we meet by the power of Christ. One writer makes this most important observation:

It is not the church's business in this world to simply make the present condition more bearable; the task of the church is to release here on earth the redemptive work of God in Christ.”  

This is not to say that the church is not to help and to be like the Good Samaritan.  We are called to be first witnesses, to change a life, to offer what we have, the resources of Jesus.  

That this man had such great expectation, really demonstrates the type of faith that we as believers should exercise.  

Let me draw your attention for a moment to the importance of expectation – it is paramount that when we as believers look to Jesus, we must do so with expectation.  That at any point of need Jesus has our full attention, that when our need is met there is no doubt that He alone is the source and that He alone deserves the glory.  

 

Verse 6.   Though it was customary to take money to the temple as mentioned above, we note here that the apostle had no money for the treasury or for the lame man.  Thus Peter declares ‘silver and gold have I none…’ but what I do have you are in far greater need of.  

God does not always give us what we think we need, but when we approach Him in faith and expectation, He is able to supply more than we can ask or think. What a wonderful God, He knows what we need.  

We must however realize that God’s purpose for our life is ultimately to bring glory to Himself. 

[Even] every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.”  Isa 43:7   

“Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” Rev 4:11   

As we’ll see this healing certainly brought joy to this man, but this miraculous event would be the avenue through which even greater transformations would take place - God would bring more glory to himself.  This miracle presented Peter with another opportunity to preach Christ; as in Acts 2:14-44 we see here in Acts 3:11- 4:4 that many Jews believed on Christ and God received the glory.  

Recall the man that was blind from birth; many attributed his condition to sin, but in his case as in this of the lame man, it would be at the appointed time, a means by which God would bring glory to his name.  

And as [Jesus] passed by, he saw a man which was blind from [his] birth.  And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?   Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.” John 9:1-3

 

Verse 7.   There is no doubt that the apostles were endowed with the gift of healing, a gift that was and is still highly coveted.  The power to truly heal is a strong witness to the truth; it is therefore not difficult to understand why Satan would imitate such a gift for evil purposes.   

Counterfeit miracles are pervasive; countless people are hopelessly devoted to those who claim this gift, hanging on their every word as if it were scripture.  Those who perform false miracles are really tools of Satan, drawing people away from the truth of God.  

We are told that in the last days, in a time of great apostasy, that there will be lying wonders and many people will be deceived – it is therefore crucial that we pay close attention to what the scripture reveals about the gifts that the Holy Spirit gives.  

Some will probably teach that the church should heal like this every day and there are many that claim to be able to do this.  Others will even say that it is wrong for a Christian to be sick, for Jesus died not only for our sins but for our sicknesses as well.  We often will hear some teach that it is only lack of faith that keeps a person from being well.  

Without going into detail we should note that there are two sets of Scripture which  deal with the subject of healing, and from that flow two purposes for healing that are noted in Scripture.  

The first class of healing miracles authenticate the message of the gospel and indicate that certain people are true, genuine messengers of God. Mark 16:15-18 point to these.  In this passage the inspired writer continued in verse 20 to speak in such a way that we know that this was referring to “the signs of an apostle”, to which Paul referred in 2 Corinthians 12:12, and to which Hebrews 2:3-4 specifically refers.   

That promise was given to the disciples to authenticate their initial ministry. It is quite a stretch when people use the passage to claim that anyone, anywhere who believes the gospel should do everything that the disciples did. One should be careful not to have people manipulate scripture.  

The second-class of passages tell us that God does heal, at any time and in any age according to his purpose.  But He does not always promise to heal and Scripture does tell us that there are many cases where even those that have strong faith are not healed.  See Phil. 2:27 for one example.   

God, the Father of Grace does tell us that we are perfectly right to always ask him to heal us physically.  He might do so directly, or as James 5 tells us, he has provided for the elders to pray for healing.  

But note that when it comes to this matter of healing, people develop all kinds of mumbo jumble, much of it coming from paganism where people think that they have to put oil on people, generally accompanied with making the sign of a cross in oil, to guarantee healing.  That sort of thing is straight out of paganism, and unfortunately the Catholic Church is famous for that.  Also unfortunately many evangelicals have picked up that kind of thing, to make their prayer for healing seem more pious and important.  

This verse and those following give us the most fundamental characteristic of the gift of healing; we see the purpose, the practice and what it produces.  

After telling the lame man to rise up and walk, Peter took him by his right hand and helped him to his feet.  In doing so Peter shows his sincerity and also teaches was that when faith is being birthed in us we need the hand of one who can stabilize our faith. One writer says:-

“This may be employed as a beautiful illustration of the manner of God when he commands people to repent and believe. He does not leave them alone; he extends help, and aids their efforts.”  

Though unspoken in most cases, the cry of ones heart is “Lord I believe, help thou my unbelief”  

Peter was bold, for he trusted supernaturally that God would do things completely out of the ordinary. He was specifically prompted by the Spirit. Peter knew he had power to heal this man and that it was God's will for him to heal this man.  

He acted in a most deliberate fashion in everything that he did and said.  He looked intently at the man, instructed the man to look at him, told the man specifically that he had no money to give him but promised to give him something, then commanded the man to stand up and walk in the name of Jesus, the Nazarene, then grabbed him by the right hand and raised him up.  

Now the irrefutable evidence to the gift of healing and the proof of this miraculous power comes in two parts; first was the instantaneous results.  Immediately he received strength to his feet and ankle bones.  Immediate verifiable results are a fundamental characteristic of the gift of healing.  

This healing made the man whole or completely well;  this healing was immediate and was not a long drawn out process.   

Note however that healing which might not be total and immediate does not detract from the power of God, but that is often designed to strengthen and maintain faith, part of a necessary ministry to believers.  So we are told: “Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:” James 5:14,15  

The gift of healing however is uniquely employed in the ministry to unbelievers and is designed to create or birth faith in the heart.  Thus the instant nature of the results is vital to the creation of faith in the unbeliever.  

One may not be able to say conclusively that the gift of healing is no longer in operation, but if employed in the service of God and for His purpose and His glory, the proper use of the gift for the most part is certainly not in effect as it was in the ministry of the apostles.

 

Verse 8.   More evidence of this miracle is seen in this verse.  The response to genuine healing will be one of joy and giving praise to God.  This once lame man was literally jumping for joy.  Having never walked since the day he was born, over forty years, expecting only a few coins, he gets new legs and now exhibits uncontrollable joy.

Evidence of the miracle does not end there; for we note that he not only received strength to jump but he also walked.  This in itself is a miracle – the art of walking is one achieved over a lengthy period of time and practice.  Children learn slowly, but this man with the strength came the instant ability to walk without the clumsy, awkward stumbling stages that we all went through.  

The jumping for joy turned to praise to God, a striking fulfillment of Isa. 35:6 “The lame man shall leap as a hart”.  Notice that he did not stop to get directions as to how to behave from Peter and John, but without prompting or be taught what to do, he praises God.   

We are told that the healed man would not let Peter and John go. The Greek here is very strong, meaning that he clung to them with great strength. That would have produced a great commotion and attracted a great crowd.  

Note also that Peter and John had specifically disclosed the source of the healing power to be that of Jesus of Nazareth (Acts 3:6), His praises to God – implied that he knew that Jesus is God.  This could only come from direct revelation, in the same manner as it did to Peter. “And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed [it] unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.”  Matt 16:17  

One writer comments: - “It was instinctive - the natural feeling of the heart. So a sinner. His first feelings, when he is converted, will be to ascribe the praise to God. While he may and will feel regard for the ministry by whose instrumentality he has received the blessing, yet his main expression of gratitude will be to God. And this he will do instinctively. He needs no prompter; he knows that no power of man is equal to the work of converting the soul, and will rejoice, and give all the praise to the God of grace.”

 

Verse 9-10.     The Holy Spirit knows how to move his people to accomplish His will.  This miracle occurred in the most public place, the Temple at the hour of prayer would undoubtedly be extremely busy.  The spectacle that this now overjoyed man caused, drew much attention – the Scripture says that, ‘all the people saw him walking and praising God’.  

All the people that frequented the temple at the hour of prayer not only saw him, but knew that this was the man that every day for forty years sat at the Beautiful Gate begging alms.  Needless to say they were all amazed and filled with wonder at what had happened.  

This was an undeniably genuine miracle – this man was known to be crippled since birth, it is therefore inconceivable that he for forty years was pretending and not found out.  His reaction to the miracle also points to it authenticity.  And in addition to this, the people that witnessed this were not friends of the apostles, but even they were convinced and believed. One writer comments:-

“The people were convinced of the same thing. They saw the effects; they had known him well; they had had every opportunity to know that he was diseased, and they were now satisfied that he was restored. There was no possibility of deception in the case. It was not merely the friends of Jesus that saw this; not those who had an interest in the miracle, but those who had been his enemies, and who had just before been engaged in putting him to death.”       

 

Verse 11.   The healed man held to Peter and John, that is he clung to them, stuck onto them; he would not let them go.  Determined to remain with them and go where they went, he held on for dear life and refused to be separated from his benefactors.  

All this excitement and curiosity soon drew a sizable crowd that surrounded Peter and John at the porch of Solomon in the temple.  

Note the difference with the crowd at Pentecost, for there were no sceptics in this crowd.  Peter and John were heroes to the man and to the crowd and they all actually thought much of the Apostles because of the healing of the lame man.  

At Pentecost Peter had to correct one kind of misconception, namely, that they were drunk, but here the misconception was that they were too “divine”, too powerful.  Peter now had to like he did at Pentecost quickly and flatly deny the prevalent ideas, not taking credit, but praising God and his Servant Jesus.  Peter saw their amazement and astonishment and their sense of reverence and mistaken hero worship.  They were ready to accept a false explanation of events.  

Note some similarities and also differences with the Pentecost sermon.  Both events were manifestations of the Spirit, though different manifestations.  Peter's first sermon was longer, more complete, had more specific instructions as to what men had to do to be saved.  It dealt with the prophecies of Joel, and the focus was on the day of the Lord.  It spoke of judgment and then blessing secondarily.  The listeners asked questions as to how to be saved and many were saved on Peter's instructions.  

This sermon was interrupted by the arrest of the Apostles. The sermon went back to the early days of the patriarchs and the beginning of Israel .  Its primary theme was blessing with judgment secondary.  The emphasis was even more on the guilt of his audience for having rejected Jesus as Messiah.  

Though we know many were saved, conversion occurred without Peter and John being there as was the case at Pentecost.  Here both Apostles were in jail.

 

Verse 12.   Having the attention of so many people, Peter grasped the opportunity, not to merely satisfy their curiosity, but to preach to them the gospel.   

This was the ideal time to claim some notoriety for himself, to setup his own ministry and following; but Peter and John knew that it was not their ministry and not their power and therefore not their glory for the taking.  

Peter without hesitation directs them to the source of their wonderment.  He claims nothing for himself but directs them to Christ.  Addressing the crowd ‘Ye men of Israel…’ you stare at us as if we did this in our own power, ‘why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we made this man walk?”  The Jews of all people should be acquainted with the nature and purpose of miracles, they should not have looked to men, but to God and enquired what was the meaning of this miracle.  

When God works the miraculous in our lives, it is rarely for our sole benefit.  God blesses us, in order that many others will be blessed.

 

Verse 13.   The anointing and the boldness on the lives of the apostles was certainly growing stronger.  On the day of Pentecost Peter preached with power and boldness, could this be the same Peter that recently denied Christ?  At Pentecost three thousand people were saved, but after Peter preached on this occasion five thousand men came to Christ, mostly Jews.  

Peter begins by showing these Jews the God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  Peter used this description that the Jews were intimately familiar with and one that stressed the covenant relationship; all prophets and declared the Messiah to be the servant of Jehovah.  This title is used only four times in the New Testament, but is a title of the Messiah that is used frequently in the Old Testament.  

Jesus claimed to be the Son of God, making himself equal with the Father; this would be blasphemy if it were not true and punishable by death. Jesus is however vindicated and proven to be who he claimed to be - the Son of God; for it is inconceivable that God would use a blasphemer to perform any miracle, especially one of this magnitude.  Furthermore the miracle was performed in his own name, meaning that it was by his own power that this miracle was performed. This he could only do if Jesus were truly God.  

This being the case, Peter now recounts the facts of their treatment of the Messiah, with the crucifixion fresh in their minds, he displays the naked truth of their brutal injustice and the most heinous of crimes.  Peter did not spare their feeling or pussyfoot around the truth, but delivered in a few verses an absolutely heart wrenching message.  If this message did not move them to repentance, it would surely be the damnation of them all.  

“…the God of our fathers hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up…” After establishing who Jesus was, Peter reminds them that they renounced Jesus as their king and called for his execution  before Pontius Pilate, who was convinced of Jesus’ innocence declaring it on six occasions (Lk 23:4,14,15,22; Jn 18:38, 19:4,6) and attempted several time to let him go.

 

Verse 14.   Pilate however, was weak and bent under the political manoeuvrings and demands of the Jews; demands that they would rather see a convicted murderer set free in the place of the Just and Holy One.  

“The word “just” here denotes “innocent,” or “one who was free from crime.” It is properly used in reference to law, and denotes “one who stands upright in the view of the law, or who is not chargeable with crime.” In this sense, the Lord Jesus was not only personally innocent, but even before his judges he stood unconvicted of any crime. The crime charged on him at first was blasphemy Mat_26:65, and on this charge the Sanhedrin had condemned him without proof. But of this charge Pilate would not take cognizance, and hence, before him they charged him with sedition, Luk_23:2. Neither of these charges were made out, and of course, in the eye of the law, he was innocent and just. It greatly aggravated their crime that they demanded his death still, even after it was ascertained that they could prove nothing against him, thus showing that it was mere hatred and malice that led them to seek his death.”  

Their action proved them to be exactly like the one they desired to be released; he was a murderer and so were they.  

Peter was really stressing that Jesus was resurrected and was still alive and able to heal his people, those who came to him by faith.  The lame man was proof of Jesus’ power and his willingness to heal physical, emotionally and spiritually.  Jesus had done that when he was on earth and he now would continue to do healing.  

Note also the series of facts that Peter brought to the crowd.  We should remember that our faith is based on facts, the words, actions and promises of the God of Abraham Isaac, and Jacob.

 

Verse 15.   Prince of life denotes one who is the leader, captain, head or chief of, and the originator of life.  In Hebrews 2:10 Jesus is called the captain of our salvation, he teaches the doctrine of life and salvation, and not only leads the way, but is the way to eternal life.  In light of the resurrection this statement is most significant.  One writer aptly comments:-

“The word rendered “prince” denotes properly “a military leader or commander.” Hence, in Heb_2:10, it is translated “captain:” “It became him ...to make the “Captain of their salvation” perfect through sufferings.” As a captain or commander leads on to victory and is said to obtain it, so the word comes to denote one who is the “cause,” the “author,” the “procurer,” etc. In this sense it is used, Act_5:31, “Him hath God exalted to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel,” etc. In Heb_12:2 it is properly rendered author, “Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.” The word “author,” or “giver,” would express the meaning of the word here. It also implies that he has dominion over life; an idea, indeed, which is essentially connected with that of his being the author of it. The word “life” here is used in a large sense, as denoting “all manner of life.” In this sense it is used in reference to Christ in Joh_1:4, “In him was life.”  

Peter now testifies that Jesus is alive and that they are indeed eyewitnesses of this fact.  Actually before Jesus’ ascension he appeared to many people, on one occasion to over five hundred.   

Jesus is the prince of life and has life within himself and life proceeds from him.  The average Jew attending the temple would understand this concept of the immortality of God; they would also understand that one could not perform a miracle in the name of a dead deity – thus they would be compelled to accept the witness of Peter and John, as to the resurrection.

 

Verse 16.   When the term ‘In the name of…’ is used it literally means ‘He’ that is when something is done in the name of Jesus, it is actually Jesus who accomplishes that act.  

It was the faith that Peter and John had in Jesus that would facilitate this miraculous work.  It is not the faith of the lame man, for nothing is even said of him having faith, and this is all the more reason for believing that God is working his purpose through this man’s condition; and by it He intends to heal the sick, save the lost and bring glory to his name.  

Whom you see and know...” this removes any doubt for the lame man was well know to them and therefore there was no question as to the authenticity of this miracle.  Peter reaffirming that it was done in the power of the Lord Jesus.  

The result was perfect soundness.  This word denotes integrity of all his parts and freedom from defects, he was completely whole.  This was accomplished in your presence, they all saw what happened.  The willingness of the apostles to have the man examined was conclusive proof that there was no deception on their part, they had complete confidence in Jesus.  

Peter’s discourse or delivery of the gospel goes on to Acts 3:26, producing absolutely phenomenal results as recorded in Acts 4:4.  

Peter does however acknowledge that their action in part was due to ignorance, this was not an attempt to let them of the hook lightly; as he goes on to say that all these things are happening exactly as prophesied by all the prophets.

“But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled.”  Act 3:18   

Their ignorance really demonstrated that their movement was away from the true word of God.  In fact they had strayed so far as to become the main perpetrators of this act.  Despite all this Peter simply tells them to repent and receive Jesus and they would be saved.  

Some of the temple authorities heard that Peter and John were preaching Christ crucified. So worried were they about the effect of the preaching, that they had them detained over night; but by this time, what the people had seen and heard was powerful and undeniable; five thousand people repented and accepted Christ that day.  

It is interesting to note that the facts that Peter brought so strongly was designed to arouse  feelings of great guilt.

Modern psychologists might not like that practice but it is a good one, for people cannot live with guilt, and when they are disturbed they become fearful and want to do something about it.  

They have to make a choice, whether to try to escape the guilt and fear, and become hostile and resentful to the truth or whether they want to seize onto God and eradicate the  guilt in the way that Peter described in verse 16.  

Peter made it clear that God was willing to react to the bad behavior of the people he loved.

He was willing to graciously remove the guilt from them and restore them, removing their ignorant blindness.  

Note how God reacts to the guilt of the human race.  Peter points to a faith which lays hold on the grace of God.  This faith is in the name of Jesus and in no other name. 

 

CONCLUSION

Let us appeal to men to seek for restoration and blessing. We are to face them with the critical imperative of allowing God to turn them away from guilt and wickedness in the heart, to believe that God loves them and accepts them, making them his own, giving them the privilege to live as his children.   

That is our task, to witness in the power of the Spirit at every moment of our supposedly normal everyday life.  

Let us not be distracted by the world or to worship simply for worshipping sake, ignoring the needs of those around us. We must not concentrate on ourselves and our needs, but we must witness in the power of the Spirit.  

Everything we do must be turned toward telling people about Jesus Christ of Nazareth.  If we do not we will be failures and we will be accordingly judged by God.  

So brethren, everything that we do must be geared toward telling others about the salvation of God, and discipling them accordingly.  We have not been saved just to enjoy ourselves, to worship, to meet and fellowship with others like ourselves.  We must rescue the lame.  

The book of Acts highlights the life and ministry of the apostles primarily after Jesus had ascended.  It shows the awesome transformation of ordinary men, who once cowered with fear, to the dynamic and powerful demonstration of the Spirit.  

Belief and faith with the ministry of the Holy Spirit in their lives enabled them to do tremendous things for Christ and his kingdom.  

So it can be with every believer; if we should overcome the obstacles of doubt and fear, in submission to God and by the power of the Holy Spirit, who can tell how we may be used and what we may accomplish for Christ.  

When it comes to signs and wonders do not be desirous of them; but simply follow God.  The scripture tells us that these signs will follow them that believe.  We are never told to follow signs, for it will be the quickest slipperiest root to deception, especially in the end time apostasy.  

So beware of impostors.  Certain gifts though for the growth and edification of the body, historically appear not to operate today as they did in the first century church.  This is due to the nature and purpose of the specific gift.  

The gift of healing seems to be one such gift, we can not say that it no longer exists, rather it was specifically used as in today’s lesson to turn people to Christ and establish the infant church.  Once the church was establish on a firm footing, we see less and less of this type of miracles.  

This is not to say that healing does not occur, for as a ministry to believer we are commanded to call for the elders, to anoint with oil that the sick among us might recover.  Note also that there comes a time when these type of miracles will have no effect because of the hardness of mans heart.  Thus in the case of the rich man and Lazarus, Jesus said that this people would not believe even if one was brought back from the dead.  

Instead the command was to believe the prophets, to simply heed the word of God.  And this has undoubtedly been proven over time.  That if one refuses to believe the plain word of God, no amount of miracles will convince.  

Though this topic of the gifts or the use of the gifts can be very emotionally charged at times; let us bare one simple thing in mind – if their use does not draw people to Christ, edify and strengthen the brethren and ultimately bring glory to God, it is being misappropriated or worse it is not of God.  

Let us therefore yield ourselves completely to Christ and proclaim the gospel with boldness.  For the gospel is the power of God unto salvation.