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Bible Commentaries

Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures
Acts 3

 

 

Verses 1-10

The Healing of the Man at the Gate Beautiful - In Acts 3:1-10 we have the account of Peter healing the lame man at the Gate Beautiful, which occasioned Peter's sermon in Solomon's portico. The theme of Acts 1:6 to Acts 5:42 is the spread of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in Jerusalem. This story is important in that the miracle serves as the spark that ignited the gathering of a multitude in the Temple to hear Peter's sermon. This sermon resulted in the first persecution of the Church.

Acts 3:4 — "And Peter…said, Look on us" - Comments - For those who have lived in poor countries with many beggars, they have observed how such beggars are too ashamed to look into the eyes of those they beg from. This may be one reason why Peter told this man at the Gate Beautiful to look at him.

Acts 3:4 — "with John" - Comments - Anyone who has ever ministered healing to someone knows the important of having people of faith standing with you. Many of us know the difficulty of ministering healing when there is doubt and opposition in the midst. Jesus often took Peter, James and John with Him when ministering to others. He not only was teaching them, but their faith was positive and in support of Jesus' ministry. In Acts 3:4 Peter is doing the talking, but John is standing beside him in faith. Together their faith was stronger than if they were alone.

Acts 3:5Comments - Now this poor blind beggar did not know what was about to happen to him although his heart was open and receptive to whatever Peter had to offer. The reason the Scriptures record the man's expectation is because without it he would not have instantly obeyed and followed Peter's command to rise up and walk. Expectation is a measure of faith, however small it may be. This man received Peter's message and responded in faith. Thus, he was healed.

Acts 3:6Comments (1) - Although Peter and John did not personally possess finances, the Church had all things in common, even finances. With the wealth of faith in the early Church Peter met the man's real need through the name of Jesus. James Brooks said that in the early years of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, it could not afford to purchase several copies of some famous ancient Greek manuscripts due to lack of funds. He regretted this. He said that it was in these days that the seminary could truly say, "silver and gold have I none." Today the seminary has been blessed with millions of dollars of endowments. He added lastly, "But again, today we cannot say, ‘Rise up and walk'." 126]

126] James A. Brooks, "Class Notes," New Testament Greek and Textual Criticism, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, 21January 1982.

Acts 3:6Comments (2) - Kenneth Hagin uses the story of the healing of the man at the Gate Beautiful ( Acts 3:1-10) as an example of what Jesus Christ meant to teach us in John 14:13-14. 127] Hagin says that this passage teaches us to use the name of Jesus Christ when taking authority over the works of darkness rather than praying for Jesus Christ to do something for us. He translates this passage as "whatsoever ye shall ask [demand] in my name, that will I [Jesus] do…" ( John 14:13) 128] For example, when Peter and John entered the Temple in Acts 3:1-10, the apostle did not pray for the lame man to be healed; rather, he demanded that the lame man stand up and walk by the authority of the name of Jesus Christ. Jesus will later teach us to ask the Father in Jesus' name for our requests in John 16:23-24.

127] Kenneth Hagin, Bible Prayer Study Course (Tulsa, Oklahoma: Faith Library Publications, c 1991, 1999), 158-9.

128] Kenneth Hagin, Bible Prayer Study Course (Tulsa, Oklahoma: Faith Library Publications, c 1991, 1999), 159-60.

John 14:13-14, "And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it."

John 16:23-24, "And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full."

Acts 3:7Comments - Faith is acted out in Peter"s life (heart), as Hebrews , with confidence, takes the lame man's hand. Through Peter's faith, God healed with His Almighty power.


Verses 1-31

Peter's Sermon in the Temple and Persecution - Acts 3:1 to Acts 4:31 gives us the testimony of Peter during the birth of the early Church in Jerusalem as his sermon in the Temple stirs up persecution from the Jewish leaders. This passage will be followed by the testimony of the growth of the church in Jerusalem ( Acts 4:32 to Acts 5:42).

Outline - Here is a proposed outline:

1. The Healing of the Man at Gate Beautiful — Acts 3:1-10

2. Peter's Sermon in the Temple — Acts 3:11-26

3. Peter's Testimony to the Sanhedrin — Acts 4:1-22

4. The Church Prays for Boldness — Acts 4:23-31


Verses 11-26

Peter's Sermon in the Temple - In Acts 3:11-26 we have Peter's sermon in the Temple.

Acts 3:15Word Study on "prince" - Strong says the Greek word ἀρχηγός (G 747) means, "a chief leader." BDAG says it means, "a leader, ruler, prince," and can refer to an "originator, founder, one who begins." Koester notes that it is a compound word consisting of ἀρχή (first) and ἄγω (to lead), denoting a both leader or a founder, with the translation "pioneer" reflecting both aspects of this word. Koester says the word ἀρχηγός is used in the LXX for those who led the children of Israel in the wilderness ( Numbers 10:4; Numbers 13:2-3) and into battle ( Judges 5:15; Judges 9:44; Judges 11:6; Judges 11:11, 1 Chronicles 5:24; 1 Chronicles 8:28; 1 Chronicles 26:26, 2 Chronicles 23:14, Nehemiah 2:9, Judith 14:2). 129] This Greek word is used four times in the New Testament ( Acts 3:15; Acts 5:31, Hebrews 2:10; Hebrews 12:2). Luke calls Jesus Christ the " ἀρχηγός of life" ( Acts 3:15), and " ἀρχηγός and Saviour" ( Acts 5:31). The author of Hebrews will use the analogy of Jesus Christ and Moses, who led the children of Israel in the wilderness ( Hebrews 3:1-6). Jesus will later be called the author and finisher of our faith ( Acts 12:2).

129] Craig R. Koester, Hebrews , in The Anchor Bible, eds. William Foxwell Albright and David Noel Freedman (New York: Doubleday, 2001), 228.

Acts 3:15, "And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses."

Acts 5:31, "Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins."

Hebrews 2:10, "For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings."

Hebrews 12:2, "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God."

Comments- Jesus paved our way to salvation as the pioneer of our redemption ( Hebrews 12:2). How?

Philippians 2:8, "And being found in fashion as a Prayer of Manasseh , he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross."

Hebrews 5:8, "Though he were a Song of Solomon , yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;"

Joshua , the son of Nun, was the captain of Israel's salvation as he led them in the conquest of the land of Canaan. In like manner, Jesus Christ has become the captain of our salvation.

Acts 3:16"And his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong" - Comments - Just to say the name of Jesus is not all there is to this miracle. In Acts 19:13-16, Jewish vagabonds used Jesus' name and were beaten up by a demoniac. You must have also faith in His name in order to use Jesus' name; that Isaiah , you must be a born-again Christian.

Acts 3:19 — "when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord" - Comments - Note that when God's Holy Spirit fills our hearts, we are strengthened, revived, and refreshed by His presence ( Isaiah 28:12).

Isaiah 28:12, "To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear."

Acts 3:22-23Old Testament Quotes in the New Testament- This quote comes from Deuteronomy 18:15-19.

Deuteronomy 18:15, "The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken;"

Deuteronomy 18:18-19, "I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him."

Note that when the children of Israel asked God not to speak to them directly, the Lord harkened to their prayer. In answering this prayer, God gave them Moses as the spokesman for the Old Covenant. This prayer of the children of Israel is recorded in Exodus 20:18-21 and Deuteronomy 5:23-33

In comparison, God raised up Jesus as the spokesman for the New Covenant. When the priests and Levites asked John the Baptist if he were "that prophet," they were referring to this prophecy in Deuteronomy 18:15-19.

John 1:19-21, "And this is the record of John , when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou? And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ. And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No."

Acts 3:24Scripture Reference- Note:

John 5:39, "Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me."

 


Copyright Statement
These files are copyrighted by the author, Gary Everett. Used by Permission.
No distribution beyond personal use without permission.

Bibliography Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Acts 3:4". Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ghe/acts-3.html. 2013.

Lectionary Calendar
Monday, May 27th, 2019
the Sixth Week after Easter
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