Acts 3

The Word Made Fresh

1One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the midafternoon hour of prayer. 2A man who had been lame since birth was being carried in. He lay at the gate called the Beautiful Gate every day so that he could beg from those who were entering the temple. 3He saw Peter and John going in, and asked them for charity. 4Peter and John stopped and fixed their gaze on him, and Peter said, “Look at us.”

5The man looked up at them, expecting them to give him something, 6but Peter said, “I have no silver or gold, but I give you what I have; in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, stand up and walk.” 7Then he took the man by the hand and helped him up, and right away his feet and ankles were strengthened. 8He jumped up and began to walk. He went into the temple with them, walking and skipping and praising God.

9The people saw him walking and praising God. 10They recognized him as the beggar who sat begging at the Beautiful Gate. They were amazed, and wondered what had happened to him. 11He held on to Peter and John while all the people were astonished, and gathered around them at Solomon’s Portico.

12Peter saw them gathering, and said to them, “Why are you Israelite men wondering at this? You’re staring at us as if you think we made this man walk by our own piety and power! 13But it is by the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob who has glorified his servant, Jesus, the man you rejected and handed over to Pilate, even though Pilate had decided to let him go free. 14But you rejected the one who is holy and righteous, and told Pilate to release a murderer instead. 15So, you murdered the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are eyewitnesses to this! 16It is through faith in his name that has made this man strong, as you can see for yourselves. Through faith in Jesus, he has been made whole right in front of you!

17“Listen, friends, I know you acted in ignorance. And so did your leaders. 18This was God’s way of accomplishing what had been foretold through the prophets, that the Messiah would suffer. 19Repent of all this, and turn back to God so that your sins will be forgiven, 20and the Lord will send you days of peace and strength through Jesus the Messiah, to overcome the distress of these days, 21who will now remain in heaven until the time is right for the restoration God promised long ago through the prophets. 22Moses said that the LORD our God will raise up from among us a prophet like him, and told us to listen to what he says, 23because those who refuse to listen will be cut off from God’s people. 24All the prophets who spoke, from Samuel on, predicted these things. 25You are the descendants of those prophets who owned the promise God gave your ancestors through Abraham, saying, ‘All the families of the earth will be blessed.’ 26And when God raised up his servant, he sent him to you first so that you could be turned from your wicked ways and be rewarded.”


1-10: The first healing miracle recorded in Acts is the healing of a crippled man. Luke notes that the man has been lame since birth (compare John 9:1). Friends or members of his family place his litter at one of the main entrances into the temple area where there is a lot of foot traffic, because he can beg for alms there since he cannot work for a living. Peter heals him simply by telling him to walk in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. We are reminded of Jesus’ saying that “everyone who is fully qualified will be like the teacher” (Luke 6:40), and Peter is the first of the disciples to exhibit that ability.

11-16: The ex-cripple’s antics attract quite a crowd, and Peter boldly announces that the crippled man has been healed through faith in the name of Jesus whom they, the crowds, have crucified, but who has been raised from the dead.

17-26: Peter exonerates them by acknowledging that they acted in ignorance, not knowing whom they were crucifying, and calls on them to repent of their sins. He asserts that Jesus is the prophet foretold by Moses (Deuteronomy 18:15). Furthermore, he asserts that God, having raised him up, has sent him to them, the people of Jerusalem, first.


It is interesting that so many of the healing miracles in the gospels and Acts have to do with making the lame to walk again. But humanity’s primary problem has always been that we are slow to learn how to follow the right path.