Acts 3 Bible Commentary

John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

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(Read all of Acts 3)

Verse 2

[2] 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;

At the gate of the temple, called Beautiful — This gate was added by Herod the Great, between the court of the Gentiles and that of Israel. It was thirty cubits high, and fifteen broad, and made of Corinthian brass, more pompous in its workmanship and splendour than those that were covered with silver and gold.

Verse 6

[6] Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.

Then said Peter, Silver and gold have I none — How unlike his supposed successor! Can the bishop of Rome either say or do the same?

Verse 12

[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?

Peter answered the people — Who were running together, and inquiring into the circumstances of the fact.

Verse 13

[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.

The God of our fathers — This was wisely introduced in the beginning of his discourse, that it might appear they taught no new religion, inconsistent with that of Moses, and were far from having the least design to divert their regards from the God of Israel.

Hath glorified his Son — By this miracle, whom ye delivered up - When God had given him to you, and when ye ought to have received him as a most precious treasure, and to have preserved him with all your power.

Verse 14

[14] But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you;

Ye renounced the Holy One — Whom God had marked out as such; and the Just One - Even in the judgment of Pilate.

Verse 16

[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.

His name — Himself: his power and love.

The faith which is by him — Of which he is the giver, as well as the object.

Verse 17

[17] And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers.

And now, brethren — A word full of courtesy and compassion, I know - He speaks to their heart, that through ignorance ye did it - which lessened, though it could not take away, the guilt.

As did also your rulers — The prejudice lying from the authority of the chief priests and elders, he here removes, but with great tenderness. He does not call them our, but your rulers. For as the Jewish dispensation ceased at the death of Christ, consequently so did the authority of its rulers.

Verse 18

[18] But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled.

But God — Who was not ignorant, permitted this which he had foretold, to bring good out of it.

Verse 19

[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;

Be converted — Be turned from sin and Satan unto God. See Acts 26:20. But this term, so common in modern writings, very rarely occurs in Scripture: perhaps not once in the sense we now use it, for an entire change from vice to holiness.

That the times of refreshing — Wherein God largely bestows his refreshing grace, may come - To you also. To others they will assuredly come, whether ye repent or no.

Verse 20

[20] And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:

And he may send — The apostles generally speak of our Lord's second coming, as being just at hand.

Who was before appointed — Before the foundation of the world.

Verse 21

[21] 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.

Till the times of the restitution of all things — The apostle here comprises at once the whole course of the times of the New Testament, between our Lord's ascension and his coming in glory. The most eminent of these are the apostolic age, and that of the spotless Church, which will consist of all the Jews and Gentiles united, after all persecutions and apostacies are at an end.

Verse 22

[22] 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.

The Lord shall raise you up a prophet like unto me — And that in many particulars. Moses instituted the Jewish Church: Christ instituted the Christian. With the prophesying of Moses was soon joined the effect, the deliverance of Israel from Egypt: with the prophesying of Christ that grand effect, the deliverance of his people from sin and death. Those who could not bear the voice of God, yet desired to hear that of Moses. Much more do those who are wearied with the law, desire to hear the voice of Christ. Moses spake to the people all, and only those things, which God had commanded him: so did Christ. But though he was like Moses, yet he was infinitely superior to him, in person, as well as in office. Deuteronomy 18:15.

Verse 23

[23] And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.

Every soul who will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people — One cannot imagine a more masterly address than this, to warn the Jews of the dreadful consequence of their infidelity, in the very words of their favourite prophet, out of a pretended zeal for whom they rejected Christ.

Verse 24

[24] Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days.

These days — The days of the Messiah.

Verse 25

[25] 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.

Ye are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant — That in, heirs of the prophecies. To you properly, as the first heirs, belong the prophecies and the covenant. Genesis 12:3.

Verse 26

[26] 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.

To bless you, by turning you from your iniquities — Which is the great Gospel blessing.

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