May 15th Acts, 3
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. 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? 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. 14: But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you; 15: And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses. 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. 17: And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers. 18: But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled. 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; 20: And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: 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. 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. 23: And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people. 24: Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days. 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. 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.
Luke then records the next most significant event – the healing of the Lame man. Peter and John are going to the temple at 3pm. Now a particular man was carried and laid at the gate of the temple. The gate was called ‘Beautiful’. This man had been lame from birth. The Jews had previously understood that only the Messiah himself would be able to heal a man who had never walked. For peter to heal him he was either claiming to be the Messiah or the Messiah was actually working through Peter. The second was going to be the case. The man was not expecting to be healed he was asking for alms. His eyes were probably everywhere so Peter said, ‘look at us’. Peter was penniless, but he had apostolic power and so he said. I have no money but what l have l will give to you. Then he said, In the name of Jesus of Nazareth get up!. Peter took him by the hand and helped him up. He stood up, walked and jumped around, praising God and he entered into the temple praising God. Everybody was astounded by this messianic sign. The people came running to see what had happened. Peter addressed the crowd. Peter asks two questions, Why are you surprised about this? (The inference is that this was a perfectly normal thing for Christ and his Apostles. And secondly why are you looking at me as if it were by my own power or godliness that this man can walk. This was a reality check that prevented putting Peter on a pedestal. Then Peter goes on to explain what is really happening and its all about Jesus. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the Jehovah of our fathers has glorified His Son Jesus. It is the glorification of Christ that is proven by this sign. Then he turns on the people. He says, who you delivered up and denied in the presence of Pilate when he was determined to let him go. Peter places the guilt where it should be you denied the Holy One and the Just. He is describing Jesus as the Holy son of God and the only ultimate righteous man. Only he ever kept the whole law. They denied the holy one and asked for the murderer. And they killed the Prince of life. But God raised him from the dead and we are his witnesses. Peter then says that it is faith in Christ’s name that has made this man perfectly sound. This was no partial miracle! Then Peter says that he realises that they rejected Christ in blind ignorance. It was Gods word predicted that this would happen in the OT. Then he called on Israel to return unto the God of their Fathers. Only then will they be converted and their sins be blotted out when ‘The Times of refreshing’ will come from the presence of the Lord. Peter is promising that they will know the forgiveness of sins when they enter into the New Covenant in the kingdom. Peter says Christ will come because the heavens must receive him until the times of restitution of all things. When Christ comes to establish his kingdom everything will be restored to Israel. This has been prophesied since the beginning of the world. Then Peter quoted Moses, A prophet will the Lord your God raise up unto Israel from your brothers like me; him you will hear everything he says. Then Peter went on to quote. And it will happen that every soul, who will not hear Him, will be destroyed from among the people of Israel. Then Peter went on to say that all the prophets from Samuel onward spoke of these future days. Peter says, you are the descendants of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, who said to Abraham, In thy seed shall all the families of the earth will be blessed. Lastly he says, God first raised up his Son Jesus and he sent him to bless you, in making you to turn from your sins. What a masterful speech.