Click here for the text of Acts 3 (NIV).
Acts 2 ends with people spending time together in the temple courts “praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people” (2:47). Chapter three picks up in the same location with Peter and John walking up to the temple one afternoon. The saw a man disabled from birth begging at the temple gate. While we could spend some time on his ironic question for help from Peter and John being limited to a request for money when they are able to do so much more than that. We could spend some time on how we often do the same thing by asking God only to solve symptoms and not asking him to solve the core problems of our lives.
Unlike Jesus who asked a man in a similar state if he wanted to get well Peter tells him to walk. The man followed them into the temple courts, “walking, jumping, and praising God (Acts 3:8).” Hardly behavior becoming someone in God’s courts! You are supposed to sing “Tiptoe, tiptoe in God’s House” in places like that. You are supposed to walk slowly and reverently in places like that. Tell that to a man who has just experienced the grace of God. Believe it or not, people began to notice. They were amazed because they recognized who he was and saw that now he was healed (2:10).
Then Luke says something a little strange for a man whose legs have been made well – “While the beggar held on to Peter and John…” When you are healed you are healed, 100% God doesn’t just sort of heal you. The only exception to that is in Mark 8:22-26 when Jesus heals a blind man twice. We can talk more about that later but basically Jesus used this man as an object lesson for the disciples, who were sort of seeing who Jesus was but still did not quite see him clearly yet. Why would this now healed ex-beggar hold on to Peter and John? What made him go from leaping and praising God to holding on to Peter and John? Could it be that he held on to them in response to the crowd that was beginning to encircle them? Could it