Practical Reflections on Acts: Acts 3:8-26

Acts 3:6‑26  •  7 min. read  •  grade level: 7
8. And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.
The first movement of this man, born lame, was to leap. What power in the name of Jesus! The natural mind understands steady progress over time, but this is beyond human reason a clear testimony to God’s work. Christians develop and mature in their spiritual growth (1 John 2), but eternal life itself is perfect and complete when imparted (1 John 1:2; 5:112(For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and show unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) (1 John 1:2)
11And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. (1 John 5:11)
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The cripple stood, walked and entered the temple, giving a lovely pattern of normal Christian growth—standing by faith, walking in dependence and entering into the place of His appointment by the leading of the Spirit. Being thus found where He is in the midst, joy and acceptable worship result.
9. And all the people saw him walking and praising God.
What good would it have been if the apostles had given him silver and gold, yet left him a cripple? There would be no walk or praise for God from him. But now, though just as poor in earthly goods as he was before, he gives clear testimony to those unsearchable riches of Christ. Let us—both in walk and word—enjoy those same divine riches!
10. 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.
“And they knew!” The actions of the healed cripple produced amazement in those who knew him. Oh! that the power of God might be so displayed in our lives!
11. 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.
The lame man held those who had brought healing and blessing to him. Let us hold fast the Word of God which has brought us eternal blessing.
Rather than believing thus, in type, entering into the blessing prefigured in Solomon’s porch they wondered at the miracle which had taken place.
12. 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?
Earlier Peter had said to the cripple, “Look on us.” Now he rebukes the Jews for doing that very thing! But the cripple had need; the Jews had mere curiosity. True Christianity and its blessings are not intended to satisfy man’s curiosity. Let us see that we, by our life and words, draw attention only to Christ who is the worthy One the source of all blessing.
13. 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.
Earlier, Peter had talked about David. Now he talks of another group that was a source of pride to the nation: the Patriarchs. The God of their fathers had glorified His Son Jesus—Jesus of Nazareth. What a privilege Christians have to bear testimony to Jesus the Son of God where He has been rejected!
14. But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you.
Not only had they given up the Holy One, but they had chosen a murderer in His place. Such is the horrible choice the natural heart will make in every circumstance of life.
Now if there was to be blessing, they must hear and believe the truth a most painful truth which would test them to see if there were true repentance. The miracle had gained their attention. Peter’s message must gain their heart. How vital to reach the heart rather than the mind with the gospel!
15. And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses.
What a horrible choice they made desiring a murderer and becoming murderers themselves! Not only was the nation guilty of murdering the Prince of Life, but the Lord was now alive, and witnesses to His resurrection were in their midst. Who can tell the horrible depths to which the human heart may go in rebellion against its Creator! (See Jeremiah 17:99The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? (Jeremiah 17:9).)
16. 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.
Faith in the name of Jesus, whom they hated and had denied, produced this miracle they couldn’t deny. What a powerful sermon the healed cripple preached by his actions. What about our actions?
17. And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers.
Grace healed the man in the name of Jesus now it opens the city of refuge to the guilty nation. The Lord Jesus had said on the cross, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do,” and Peter continues that message, opening the door of escape, if they would flee to it. Oh! that we who have been the recipients of such marvelous grace would show this same spirit to others (Eph. 4:3232And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you. (Ephesians 4:32)).
18. But those things, which God before had showed by the mouth of all His prophets, that Christ should suffer, He hath so fulfilled.
All that God had spoken written in the prophets concerning the Messiah’s sufferings has been fulfilled. The prophets foretold His sufferings, while we preach a soon-returning Saviour’s glory. He said, “Surely I come quickly.” His words will be fulfilled!
19. 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.
What wonderful blessing repentance brings! Had the nation repented, those times of blessing promised to the Patriarchs—that which Solomon’s reign prefigured—would have immediately begun. Repentance is always the door to joy (Prov. 28:13-1413He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy. 14Happy is the man that feareth alway: but he that hardeneth his heart shall fall into mischief. (Proverbs 28:13‑14)).
20-23. And He shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: 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. 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. And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.
Not only had they murdered the Prince of Life, but they had killed the Prophet promised by Moses, who brought the mind of God to them. Today believers, in the same spirit of self-will, can in like manner reject God’s mind sent to them through His servants. Oh! the sad consequences of refusing to listen to the Word of God no matter who the vessel is that is used to bring it to His children. May we, with tender hearts and consciences, listen to the messages our God sends through His servants.
24-26. Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days. 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. 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.
Ed.