This page is a verse by verse study of Acts 3:1-11. These verses describe healing of the man born lame, a miracle Peter and John did at the temple gate.
Healing of the man born lame.
¶ "Peter and John were making their way together up into the temple. It was the hour of prayer, the ninth hour."(Acts 3:1).
1 Peter and John’s Intention
Peter and John The two apostles were going to the temple either to meet with the Christians (Acts 2:46) or to mingle with the devout Jews attending the temple prayers. They did not, apparently, have any plan or intention of doing any healing miracle.
The Temple. The temple was new and very beautiful. Solomon’s temple had long ago been destroyed by the Babylonians. It was rebuilt under great stress in the time of Ezra and Nehemiah with the help of Darius king of Medopersia. However it was inferior to Solomon’s temple and the one Ezekiel saw in visions. Centuries later, about twenty years before Jesus came, work commenced to replace this temple with the magnificent structure still being completed at the time the disciples of Jesus admired it and Jesus ironically but accurately foretold its destruction (Matthew 24:1-2).
Ninth hour The 9th hour of the day is Jewish reckoning. We call it 3pm.
¶ "There was a man who was born lame. He was being carried to the gate of the temple —the gate named “Beautiful”. Every day he was laid there so that as people entered into the temple he could beg gifts for his needs. Seeing Peter and John about to go in, he asked them for a gift. Peter took a good look at the man, and John did too. Peter told the man, 'Look at us.' He gave them his attention, expecting to receive something from them."(Acts 3:2).
2 The Lame Man’s Expectations
The lame man Just as Peter and John were not apparently intending to work a miracle, neither was this man expecting one. His hope was to get, from kind passers by, a little money to live on. Like everyone else, disabled people have bills to pay. Unlike everyone else, they may not be able to work. The last thing this man expected that day was to be made whole and no longer disabled!
Lame from birth. The man was "lame from his mother’s womb" as Luke describes it. All his life, from the day of his birth, his feet and lower legs were crippled and useless. So he never learned to walk or run or dance. He relied on other people to move him from place to place. This day all that would be bygones.
Look at us. Peter took a careful look at the man. Not every beggar is genuine. The man was not looking at Peter however, perhaps because he was wanting to catch the eye of other possible benefactors, or perhaps because his eyes were downcast. Peter, seeing an opportunity to work a useful miracle, wanted the man to have no doubt about who his healers were.
¶ "But Peter said, 'I don't have any silver or gold, but I do have something to give you: in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!' "(Acts 3:6).
3 Peter and John’s Gift
More than silver or gold The man would have been delighted enough with a silver coin, but Peter didn't have one. Instead he had something priceless to give.
Name of Jesus Christ In this case, the word “name” means authority, power and glory. Peter possessed healing power, but only as a gift from Jesus through the Holy Spirit. It was really Jesus’s healing power, not Peter’s. Peter knew this, and was anxious for others to understand it clearly.
Of Nazareth Jesus had come to be known as “Jesus the Nazarene” because Nazareth was his home town where he grew up and worked for some time as a carpenter. The name Jesus is a form of Joshua, and was a fairly common name for Jewish boys, so Peter identified him as "Jesus the Messiah of Nazareth" to make it clear which Jesus he was calling upon for the miracle.
Rise up and walk The man, understandably, did not comprehend this command from Peter. So, as the next verse says, Peter took him by the hand and gave him a lift up. That's when the man realized that he could get up! Peter wasn't hoisting up a still crippled man and shouting hallelujah like a charlatan might do to make it seem to the gullible a miracle.
¶ "Peter took him by the right hand, and raised him up. Immediately his feet and ankles were given strength. He leaped up, stood, and began to walk. He went with Peter and John into the temple. He was walking, leaping, and praising God."(Acts 3:7-8).
4 God’s Unstinting Power
Immediately A truely miraculous healing is instantaneous. Unlike natural healing, there is no recovery period. As soon as Peter took his hand to pull him to his feet, the man took over: he leaped to his feet and stood on them for the first time in his life.
Began to walk This means that he started walking immediately, even though he'd never learned to walk or been able to walk before. Along with his walking he did a bit of leaping. What a show off!
Praising God. The man might not have understood how he was so suddenly whole, but he knew what power had done it. It was God’s work, for nobody else could have done it. So he gave God the glory and gratitude.
¶ "All the people saw him walking and praising God. They recognized him as the man who would sit begging at the Beautiful Gate of the temple. They were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him. The lame man who was healed held on to Peter and John while all the people came running toward them into Solomon’s porch. How greatly amazed they were."(Acts 3:1).
5 The People’s Great Amazement
All the people. This was a miracle witnessed by many people. They all saw the man walking. They all recognized him as the erstwhile lame beggar laid daily at the temple gate. They were all filled with amazement. Later even the enemies of Christ’s followers admitted that "a notable miracle has been done... and we cannot deny it"(Acts 4:16).
The Man Held on to Peter and John The healed man did not hold on to Peter and John because he could not support himself. He was walking for the first time in his life when a crowd came running toward him. Naturally he would be disconcerted by this, and hold on to the men who had healed him.
Amazement. One would expect, in this situation, that people would be gabbling confusing and contradictory versions of what had happened, and many would be denying that it happened at all and trying to explain it away. But the facts were so simple and obvious, that all the people accepted those facts and responded with utter amazement.