Daily Bible Studies & Sermon Notes

Acts 3:1-12
Pastor Steve Schell
Sunday: Acts 3:1
v1: Luke just told us that during the early days following Pentecost “many signs and wonders were taking place through the apostles” (Ac 2:43), and now he describes one of these miracles. This particular event was so amazing it produced another large ingathering of believers (Ac 4:4) and brought the apostles into direct confrontation with the religious leaders (Ac 4:5-7). He said Peter and John were going up into the temple at the ninth hour, the hour of prayer. It’s natural to assume they were headed to the temple to observe the evening sacrifice­­—which took place every day at the “ninth hour,” or about 4:30 in the afternoon (by that time of year)—but it is also possible that the apostles intentionally scheduled their public gatherings during the hours when the temple was busy.

Monday: Acts 3:1, 2
v1 (continued): Crowds flooded in during the morning and evening sacrifices, so these would have been prime opportunities for evangelism. Whatever their plan may have been that day, Peter and John did not end up at the evening sacrifice. They ended up in the Portico of Solomon, where believers in Jesus normally gathered and there they preached to a large crowd (Ac 3:11). v2: The way Luke portrays this event, Peter and John had not yet arrived at the temple complex when they first encountered this man. They were still walking through the city streets on their way when at some point they found themselves beside a man being carried on a stretcher.

Tuesday: Acts 3:2
v2 (continued): He was on his way to the steps, which led up into the inner courts of the temple, in order to position himself there to beg from those pious Jews who would be entering and exiting before and after the hour-and-a-half evening prayer service (Edersheim, The Temple, Eerdmans, reprinted 1988, p.144). He was a very familiar personality in the temple. Friends or family brought him every day and placed him by the eastern gate, which led from the large outer Court of the Gentiles into the inner courts around the temple itself, so that everyone who went into the temple to worship would see him. He had been born with legs which were “maimed.” It had been obvious from the moment he was born that they didn’t work.

Wednesday: Acts 3:2
v2 (continued): Helping the poor is commanded in the Law of Moses (Dt 15:4-11). God wanted Israel to think of themselves as a family. All Jews were to see themselves as brothers and sisters to one another so a gift to the poor was considered a “loan” which would be repaid or, if not, forgiven at the next sabbath year (Dt 15:8, 9). Every third year a tithe was to be brought into a nearby town and given to the “alien, orphan and widow” so they could “eat and be satisfied.” Farmers were instructed not to return to a field, vineyard or grove to collect what they missed the first time through. This grain or fruit was intentionally left for the alien, orphan and widow. They were not to take the cloak of a poor person in pledge for a loan, but were to return it before sunset (Dt 24:10-13, 17).

Thursday: Acts 3:2, 3
v2 (continued): God wanted them to maintain this attitude: “You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, therefore I am commanding you to do this thing” (Dt 24:22). So caring for the poor was understood to be part of a righteous person’s obedience to the Lord. Compassion was an essential virtue. v3: When the lame man saw Peter and John turning to go into the temple, probably toward the southern stairs which led up into the large Court of the Gentiles near the Portico of Solomon (v11), he caught their attention and asked to be given a gift. And they undoubtedly recognized him, having passed by him many times over the years. In fact, Jesus Himself must have passed him many times as well.

Friday: Acts 3:4-10
v4: Luke says Peter and John looked at him and didn’t turn away. They kept looking and then at some point spoke to him saying, “Look at us!” It may be that the man had diverted his eyes downward out of shame or humility. vs5-6: He looked up thinking he was about to receive a gift, but Peter said, “I don’t have silver and gold, but what I have, this I give to you, in the name of Jesus Christ, the Nazarene, walk!” vs7-10: “And seizing him by the right hand he raised him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones became firm. And leaping up, he stood and was walking around, and entered into the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God. And they recognized him, that this was the one that was sitting at the Beautiful Gate (begging) for alms, and they were filled with amazement (lit: scared stiff) and shock (lit: beside themselves) at what had happened to him.”

Saturday: Acts 3:11, 12
v11: Attendance at the evening sacrifice must have been severely reduced that day. The healed man created quite a disturbance in the crowded courtyard, and everyone who realized what had just taken place ran toward the Portico of Solomon where he was still “holding on” to Peter and John, which probably means he couldn’t stop hugging them. v12: Seeing the crowd assemble, and seeing the way the people were looking at them, alarmed Peter. He knew they thought he and John had within themselves the power to do such things. The idea was blasphemous and he quickly attempted to correct their confusion. As he did on the Day of Pentecost, he addressed them formally and with respect, “Men, Israelites…” He asked them two questions: First, why are you so surprised at the miracle which has happened to this man? And second, why are you staring at us as if the power which caused this miracle came forth from us, or if by our zealous observance of the Law we attained a level of righteousness where God performs such miracles when we ask Him?

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