Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour.
Ac 3:1-26. Peter Heals a Lame Man at the Temple Gate—Hs Address to the Wondering Multitude.
1-11. Peter and John—already associated by their Master, first with James (Mr 1:29; 5:37; 9:2), then by themselves (Lu 22:8; and see Joh 13:23, 24). Now we find them constantly together, but John (yet young) only as a silent actor.
went up—were going up, were on their way.
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;
2. a certain man lame from his mother's womb—and now "above forty years old" (Ac 4:22).
was carried—was wont to be carried.
Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms.
And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us.
4, 5. Peter fastening his eyes on him with John, said, Look on us. And he gave heed—that, through the eye, faith might be aided in its birth.
And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them.
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.
6. Silver and gold have I none, but such as I have give I thee—What a lofty superiority breathes in these words!
In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk—These words, uttered with supernatural power, doubtless begat in this poor man the faith that sent healing virtue through his diseased members.
And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ancle bones received strength.
7. And he took … and lifted him up—precisely what his Lord had done to his own mother-in-law (Mr 1:31).
and ankle bones, &c.—the technical language of a physician (Col 4:14).
And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.
8. leaping up, stood … walked … entered the temple walking, leaping, and praising God—Every word here is emphatic, expressing the perfection of the cure, as Ac 3:7 its immediateness.
And all the people saw him walking and praising God:
9. all the people saw him, &c.—as they assembled at the hour of public prayer, in the temple courts; so that the miracle had the utmost publicity.
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.
10. they knew that it was he which sat for alms, &c.—(Compare Joh 9:8).
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.
11. the lame man … held, &c.—This is human nature.
all the people ran together unto them in the porch, &c.—How vividly do these graphic details bring the whole scene before us! Thus was Peter again furnished with a vast audience, whose wonder at the spectacle of the healed beggar clinging to his benefactors prepared them to listen with reverence to his words.
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?
12-16. why marvel at this?—For miracles are marvels only in relation to the limited powers of man.
as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk—Neither the might nor the merit of the cure are due to us, mere agents of Him whom we preach.
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.
13. The God of Abraham, &c.—(See on Ac 2:22; Ac 2:36).
hath glorified his Son Jesus—rather, "his Servant Jesus," as the same word is rendered in Mt 12:18, but in that high sense in which Isaiah applies it always to Messiah (Isa 42:1; 49:6; 52:13; 53:11). When "Son" is intended a different word is used.
whom ye delivered up, &c.—With what heroic courage does Peter here charge his auditors with the heaviest of all conceivable crimes, and with what terrific strength of language are these charges clothed!
But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you;
And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses.
15. killed the Prince of life—Glorious paradox, but how piercing to the conscience of the auditors.
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.
16. his name, through faith in his name, hath made this man strong, &c.—With what skill does the apostle use the miracle both to glorify his ascended Lord and bring the guilt of His blood more resistlessly home to his audience!
And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers.
17-21. And now, brethren—Our preacher, like his Master, "will not break the bruised reed." His heaviest charges are prompted by love, which now hastens to assuage the wounds it was necessary to inflict.
through ignorance ye did it—(See marginal references, Lu 23:34; Ac 13:27; 26:9).
But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled.
18. that Christ—The best manuscripts read, "that His Christ."
should suffer—The doctrine of a Suffering Messiah was totally at variance with the current views of the Jewish Church, and hard to digest even by the Twelve, up to the day of their Lord's resurrection. Our preacher himself revolted at it, and protested against it, when first nakedly announced, for which he received a terrible rebuke. Here he affirms it to be the fundamental truth of ancient prophecy realized unwittingly by the Jews themselves, yet by a glorious divine ordination. How great a change had the Pentecostal illumination wrought upon his views!
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;
19. when the times of refreshing shall come—rather, "in order that the times of refreshing may come"; that long period of repose, prosperity and joy, which all the prophets hold forth to the distracted Church and this miserable world, as eventually to come, and which is here, as in all the prophets, made to turn upon the national conversion of Israel.
And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:
20. he shall send Jesus Christ—The true reading is, "He shall send your predestinated (or foreordained) Messiah, Jesus."
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.
21. until the times—embracing the whole period between the ascension and the second advent of Christ.
restitution of all things—comprehending, probably, the rectification of all the disorders of the fall.
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.
22-26. a prophet … like unto me—particularly in intimacy of communication with God (Nu 12:6-8), and as the mediatorial Head of a new order of things (Heb 3:2-6). Peter takes it for granted that, in the light of all he had just said, it would be seen at once that One only had any claim to be that Prophet.
him shall ye hear in all things, &c.—This part of the prediction is emphatically added, in order to shut up the audience to the obedience of faith, on pain of being finally "cut off" from the congregation of the righteous (Ps 1:1).
And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.
Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days.
24. foretold of these days—of Messiah; all pointing to "the time of reformation" (Heb 9:10), though with more or less distinctness.
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.
25. Ye are the children … of the covenant—and so the natural heirs of its promises.
in thy seed, &c.—(See on Ga 3:8, &c.).
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.
26. God, having raised up—not from the dead, but having provided, prepared, and given.
his Son Jesus—"His Servant Jesus" (see on Ac 3:13).
sent him to bless you—literally, "sent Him blessing you," as if laden with blessing.
in turning away every one of you from his iniquities—that is, "Hitherto we have all been looking too much for a Messiah who should shed outward blessings upon the nation generally, and through it upon the world. But we have learned other things, and now announce to you that the great blessing with which Messiah has come laden is the turning away of every one of you from his iniquities." With what divine skill does the apostle, founding on resistless facts, here drive home to the conscience of his auditors their guilt in crucifying the Lord of Glory; then soothe their awakened minds by assurances of forgiveness on turning to the Lord, and a glorious future as soon as this shall come to pass, to terminate with the Personal Return of Christ from the heavens whither He has ascended; ending all with warnings, from their own Scriptures, to submit to Him if they would not perish, and calls to receive from Him the blessings of salvation.