Acts 3
People's New Testament
Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour.
3:1 The First Persecution


Peter and John at the Temple. The Lame Man Healed. The Wonder of the Multitude. Peter Preaches Christ to Them. The Prophet Like Unto Moses.

Peter and John. These two apostles were very closely associated in the early work of the church. They are often named together.

Into the temple. The Jewish Christians still continued to observe many of the rites of Jewish worship, and, in addition, they preached Christ to the multitudes in the temple courts. It was years before they were fully emancipated from Judaism.

At the hour of prayer. The ninth hour, three o'clock p.m. the hour of the evening sacrifice, when devout Jews were accustomed to gather at the temple to pray. The miracle that follows is one of many (Ac 2:43), but is recorded because it led to the first persecution.

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;
3:2 Laid daily at the gate... called Beautiful. Generally thought to be the gate opening towards the Mount of Olives. Josephus, who calls it the gate of Nicanor, describes it as wonderfully rich and beautiful ( Antiq. 15:11). It was common for the unfortunate to be placed at gates where their condition would appeal to the multitudes entering for worship. Then, public charities were almost unknown, and the helpless were compelled to beg.
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.
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.
3:6 Silver and gold have I none. Though the early church had poured out its gifts abundantly, Peter had not enriched himself, and was a poor man (Ac 2:45), presenting a great contrast to the popes who claim to be his successors. It is related that Thomas Aquinas came to Rome and visited Innocent IV. He looked somewhat amazedly upon the mass of plate and treasure which he saw there. So, said the pope, you see, Thomas, we cannot say as did St. Peter of old, 'Silver and gold have I none.' No, said Aquinas, neither can you command, as did he, the lame man to arise and walk. Peter had that which the popes have not.

In the name of Jesus Christ. Christ worked his miracles in no one's name. The power was his own, but with the apostles all things were done in Christ's name, and the power ascribed to him.

And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ancle bones received strength.
3:7 He took him by the right hand. To encourage and strengthen his faith. He was bidden to arise and walk in the name of Jesus Christ (Ac 3:6), and thus to show his faith in act. He did, and was healed in doing so.
And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.
3:8 Leaping up stood. His alacrity and eagerness are shown in the language used.
And all the people saw him walking and praising God:
3:9,10 The people... were filled with wonder. They had often seen the lame beggar, but now saw him walking, and leaping and praising God (Ac 3:8), and did not know how he had been healed.
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.
3:9,10 The people... were filled with wonder. They had often seen the lame beggar, but now saw him walking, and leaping and praising God (Ac 3:8), and did not know how he had been healed.
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.
3:11 Ran together... in the porch that is called Solomon's. The marvel assembled a concourse who gathered in Solomon's porch, a great covered portico of the temple, built on foundations that had been reared by Solomon, and hence called by his name.
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?
3:12 Ye men of Israel. Peter seized the opportunity to preach Christ.
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.
3:13 The God of Abraham. The God of the patriarchs whom they all worshiped

hath glorified his Son Jesus. They delivered him to Pilate, and denied him when Pilate would release him, but demanded a murderer, instead of the Holy One, and slew him. This One God had raised and glorified. A wonderful contrast; a terrible arraignment.

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.
3:15 We are witnesses. The Twelve, all of whom had seen the risen Lord. Observe how prominent in the early preaching is the resurrection and the apostolic witness to it.
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.
3:16 His name. Not Peter's power, but Christ's name, had done all.

Through faith in his name. Not only the faith of Peter and John, but the faith created in the lame man. In an act of faith he was made strong. Plumptree states:

The faith alike is in the healer and the healed.''

And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers.
3:17 I wot. I know. It was in ignorance of the majestic personality of Jesus that they slew him. Their rulers, ignorant also, might have known better had they not blinded themselves by prejudice.
But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled.
3:18 But those things, which God had shewed, etc. God had foreshown all these things by the prophets, even that Christ should suffer. See Isa 53:1-12 Da 9:26.
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;
3:19 Repent ye therefore. The same command given on the great occasion of Pentecost. See Ac 2:38. Repentance is not sorrow, but the fruit of sorrow (2Co 7:10). Those, on Pentecost, pierced to the heart were told to repent. Judas sorrowed unto death, but did not come to repentance. Repentance is an internal change resulting, not from remorse, but from conviction of sin and godly sorrow for it. The Greek term metanoeo means a change of mind. It is the change of determination or will, the resolve to turn from sin to God, what, in religious language, is often styled a change of heart.

And be converted. Turn again (Revised Version). The Greek term epistephate is not passive, but active. The command is to do some act, not to have something done to us. The Greek verb epistrepho occurs thirty-nine times in the New Testament and is universally in the active voice. A false idea is given in the Common Version by making it passive. To repent, or change the heart, is the internal change wrought by faith, and this is to be followed by a definite act, to turn. If one is on the wrong road, is convicted of this, repents of it, the result is an act, to turn, and then to go the right way. This figure applies to the sinner. Convicted of sin, repentant, there must be some outward act of turning. That act, following repentance, is given in Ac 2:38. The penitent is required to be baptized, and then to go in the new way following Jesus. Meyer says:

Baptism is not here expressly named, as in Ac 2:38, but was now understood of itself, seeing that thousands had been baptized, and the thought is suggested in the figurative expression 'in order' that your sins may be blotted out, namely, by the water of baptism.''

Dean Howson notes:

In a similar exhortation (Ac 2:38) Peter adds, Be baptized, but this would now be understood.''

See Ac 22:16.

When the times of refreshing shall come. The Revised Version is correct, That so there may come, etc. The steps are, in Ac 2:38, (1) Repentance, (2) baptism, (3) remission of sins, (4) the gift of the Holy Spirit. Here, the order is (1) Repentance, (2) to turn, (3) the blotting out of sins, (4) the seasons of refreshing. One passage aids in interpreting the other.

And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:
3:20 And he shall send Jesus Christ. Again we have to turn to the Revised Version for the meaning: And that he may send the Christ who hath been appointed for you, even Jesus. The great hope of the Jews was the Messiah. He had come, been rejected, and had returned to heaven. His return will be prepared for by repentance, and turning to the Lord. The blotting out of sins, the seasons of refreshing, and the return of Christ are all, in some measure, dependent on their repentance and turning. The Christ appointed is even Jesus, the crucified One.
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.
3:21 Whom the heaven must receive. Until all the work predicted by the prophets had been accomplished.

The times of restitution. The restoration (Revised Version). The moral restoration of the world. Christ will come in person, not before, but after the millennium is ushered in (Re 20:11-15).

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.
3:22 A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up. See De 18:15-19.

Like me. In that he is the Mediator of the New Covenant as Moses was of the Old.

And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.
3:23 Shall be destroyed. The Jews could be saved only by hearing Christ. Nor can we be saved otherwise.
Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days.
3:24 And all the prophets also from Samuel. The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy (Re 19:10). Samuel is named because he was the founder of the schools of the prophets.
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.
3:25 Ye are the children of the prophets. The natural heirs of their promised blessings.

And of the covenant. The covenant of Christ made with Abraham, in which the Savior was promised (Ge 12:3). This covenant was older than that of Sinai.

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.
3:26 Unto you first. To Israel first in order, before the Gentiles, but Peter here recognizes the fact that the Gospel is also for other races.

Sent him to bless you. Not in person, but by the preaching of Christ as the Savior from sin. The best of all blessings is the turning of them from iniquity, as that brings all others.

The People's New Testament by B.W. Johnson [1891]

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