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Wednesday, May 29th, 2024
the Week of Proper 3 / Ordinary 8
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Bible Commentaries
Acts 3

Concordant Commentary of the New TestamentConcordant NT Commentary

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Verses 1-12

38 Repentance and baptism lead to a probationary pardon, which may be withdrawn. This pardon is extended by Christ as the King. Its operation is illustrated by the parable of the ten thousand talent debtor (see Mat_18:27-34 ) whose debt was remitted, but who refused to remit the smaller sum which his fellow slave owed to him. Hence the remission of his debt was canceled. So it is with Israel in this chronicle. Many of those who, in the beginning, received the pardon of their sins, refused to share their pardon with the other nations, objecting to proselytes like Cornelius, raising a riot on the supposition that an alien has entered the sanctuary, seeking to kill Paul even though he brought alms to Jerusalem. They finally fall away ( Heb_6:6 ; Heb_10:27 ) where there is no longer any room for repentance, but a fearful prospect of judgment. This pardon, however, is in sharp contrast to our justification, or acquittal, which comes from the Judge on the sole grounds of grace and faith, and from which there can be no fall, as it places us beyond the sphere of judgment. Conciliation ( Rom_5:11 ) is immeasurably beyond any pardon, as it places us in the unclouded favor of God's grace.

39 The promise was to Israel both in the land and in the dispersion ( Dan_9:7 ). Those "afar" were Jews in the lands where God had driven them, and not Gentiles or the church.

40 The salvation was from the judgments about to visit that crooked generation.

42 The "breaking of bread" is an idiomatic Hebrew expression like our "taking tea" or the Arab's "eating salt", and denoted an ordinary meal. The bread, or flat cakes; which they used, were broken into convenient bits by each person and used as a spoon to convey the liquid portions of the meal to the mouth.

45 Each Israelite had an allotment according to the law, which could not be permanently disposed of, but came back to him at the jubilee. Those who had bought such allotments would lose them when the kingdom would be set up, for then there will be the great jubilee, when each allotment will be returned to its true tenant. These believers did not sell their own allotments, but those which they had acquired , which they would forfeit in the jubilee. This showed their faith in the coming of the kingdom.

1 It is evident that, at this time, there was no thought among the disciples of severing from the customs and worship of the nation. The sanctuary was their principal place of resort until persecution drove them from it.

2 Can we not see, in the man lame from his birth, a close likeness to the people of Israel? They had a beautiful way of approach to God, but it availed them little, for they were unable to walk through it, into the divine presence. The healing of the lame man was a sign ( Act_4:16 ). As a miracle it was full of significance. To those who read its message it proclaimed the advent of One Who could heal Israel's impotence and bring them, like the lame man, into God's house and fill them with joy and praise. But above all, it was a sign of that day when the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the narcissus, for then shall the lame man leap as a fallow deer ( Isa_35:6 ). The powers of the eon to come are present in Israel! No wonder the devout and reverent worshipers in the sanctuary are filled with awe and amazement! To them it was no mere prodigy, no unmeaning exhibition of supernatural power, but the key to that kingdom which was the goal of all their hopes and aspirations. It meant the end of the Gentile yoke, the sovereignty of Israel over the nations, the coming of Messiah and a thousand blessings for a thousand years.

5 How like are we to the lame man! We look to God for a bare alms, and He pours upon us the true riches and adds the joy of His presence. It was worth while to be lame for forty years to become the object of God's mercy and a signal instance of His power for the blessing of His people. So we, too, will one day bless the impotence and the trials which afford Him a field for the display of His favor. This is the "beautiful gate" which leads us into the sanctuary where the Divine Presence assures us of joy unending and unalloyed. Let us ask, expecting to receive.

5 God gives more and better than we seek, or hope to obtain.

Verses 13-26

13 The word "Boy" is here used because it, like its Greek equivalent, may be used both of a child and a servant. The common version renders it servant , child and son . Each of these, however, better represents another Greek word, and all fail to give the dual meaning which this word seems to have. It is usually restricted to a boy or girl between seven and fourteen years of age. It is used of our Lord when He was twelve years old and remained behind when they went home from the festival ( Luk_2:43 ).

14 The complete restoration of Peter to divine favor is nowhere more clearly seen than when he charges them, " You disown the holy and just One!" None of them were as guilty as he himself had been, yet he does not allow his personal failure to hinder his faithful proclamation of the evangel. In order to get them to repent, or change their minds regarding the Messiah, it was necessary to press home their awful guilt. Yet the most important point is the witness he bears to the resurrection of Christ. This it is which proves His Messiahship. The healing of the lame man is but one more proof that He is alive and able to do all that the prophets foretold of Him.

17 Under the law, sins or ignorance were distinguished from willful disobedience. This was the ground of the Saviour's prayer. "Father, forgive them, for they are not aware what they are doing " ( Luk_23:34 ). This is the real clue to the so-called "unpardonable sin." The sin against the Son of Mankind was forgiven, for it was done in ignorance. But the sin against the testimony borne by the holy Spirit in the book of Acts was unpardonable because it was done deliberately and willfully, after the resurrection of Christ.

21 The times of restoration include the terrific judgments of the Unveiling, when, by means of seals, trumpets and bowls, the earth is restored to the sovereignty of Christ as Son of Mankind. It has no reference to individual destiny, but to redemption of the enslaved and the disinherited by their Kinsman Redeemer (Lev.25).

23 Christ is the Prophet like Moses sent to lead Jehovah's people out of Egypt, through the wilderness, into the kingdom. The whole period of the book of Acts is typified by Israel's wilderness journey. Because the people did not hearken to Moses they were strewn along in the wilderness and never entered the holy land. Likewise, because the nation did not hearken to One Who was more than Moses, they did not enter the kingdom. The threat of extermination is an inspired alteration. In Deu_18:19 the Hebrew is, literally, "I will inquire ," or, as we say "I will require it of him." The LXX renders this "I will take vengeance on him."

26 "The term "Boy" is used here with all reverence, for want of a better. The difficulties encountered in its translation are apparent from the variety of renderings in the common version, all of which are better fitted to some other Greek word. they use child, son, servant,

young man, maid , etc. It is used of the boys under two years of age in Bethlehem ( Mat_2:16 ). It is used of Jesus when He was twelve years old ( Luk_2:43 ). It is quoted from Isaiah when he spoke of Him ( Mat_12:18 ). It is applied to Him four times in this book ( Act_3:13 ; Act_4:2-30 ). It is a word like our "boy" or "girl" which may be applied either to a child or a young servant.

1 The apostles offended both the priests and the Sadducees by their action. It was the privilege of the priests to teach the people. They should have been the chief support of the apostles in heralding the proclamation of the kingdom. But they are jealous because these common men command a hearing and usurp their authority in matters of doctrine. The Sadducees are especially offended, inasmuch as they denied the doctrine of the resurrection, which was the principal point in the proclamation of the apostles. Apart from the resurrection Messiah was dead and all hope of His kingdom was crucified with Him. But, given the power of His resurrection, all the promises of the kingdom are confirmed. The officer of the sanctuary was in command of the Levitical guard which had the military oversight of the sacred precincts, where the Gentiles could not enter.

Bibliographical Information
"Commentary on Acts 3". Concordant Commentary of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/aek/acts-3.html. 1968.
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