- Acts 3:1-5
- Acts 3:1 (KJB)
- Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of
prayer, being the ninth hour.
- The hour of daily prayer in the temple was about 3 PM. Peter and John
had gone to the temple for the time of prayer. In the temple was a court of
the women and a court of the Gentiles. Both of these groups were only
allowed to go so far. In fact, the Pharisees had used the court of the women
to hold their teaching sessions so this way anyone could attend without
defiling the temple.
- Acts 3:2 (KJB)
- 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;
- Here begins the narrative of the lame man who was over forty years old.
(Acts 4:22 KJV) For the man was above
forty years old, on whom this miracle of healing was showed.
He was lame from the time of birth and so he had to be
carried to the gate. No doubt it was probably the family members who carried
him to the gate and then brought him home every day. He was placed at the
entrance to the temple where he could ask for alms or charity. In those days
there was no such thing as disability insurance. A person who was lame or
disabled had to beg and make their living on the generosity of others. It is
not sure which gate he was laid at because there were nine gates but it is
believed that it was the Eastern Gate which may have been the busiest. I am
sure his family would have placed him where the most people would see him
and maybe bring in the largest amount of charity possible which would go to
his family to help feed, clothe, and house him.
- Acts 3:3 (KJB)
- Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms.
- Peter and John was just about to go into the temple when the lame man
had asked alms of them. Alms was an act of charity which showed mercy or
sympathy. This could be understood as the Good Samaritan helping out the
injured man and offering to pay for further care. Now it is not sure if
Peter and John were walking in alone or if they were picked out of a group
but nevertheless the lame man focused on them. It is also interesting to
note that since this man was over forty years old, Jesus must have seen him
at the temple and allowed him to remain lame until this time which would
turn out to be another testimony of the faithfulness of God.
- Acts 3:4 (KJB)
- And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on
- Fastening - Looking very intently
- Peter had looked very intently at the man and told him to look upon him
and John. The word “look” is in the Imperative Mood making it a command.
Most people would not look upon these lame beggars because in the mindset of
the Jews, those who were in this condition were considered to be under the
curse of God. So it would have been a strange occurrence to this man that
they actually stopped and looked at him. The beggars were used to people
just dropping a few coins and going their way but this is not the way of
Christ. (Luke 8:46 KJV) And Jesus said,
Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me.
In a large crowd, the Lord Jesus Christ had
focused on one woman who touched Him. Jesus shows that He is compassionate
on every single child of His and that large crowds do not separate them.
- Acts 3:5 (KJB)
- And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something
- Gave heed - Give attention to or hold fast
- Expecting - Wait for or anticipate
- Peter commanding the man to look at him elicited a response from him of
intense looking. The man was expecting to receive something from them, since
he was commanded to look, maybe he thought that along with a few shekels, he
was going to be chided for begging. I am sure that those who begged with
physical problems were probably the source of ridicule to some and he might
have expected that.