Acts 3 Bible Commentary

Jamieson, Faussett, and Brown

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(Read all of Acts 3)

1-11. Peter and John--already associated by their Master, first with James (Mr 1:29; 5:37; 9:2), then by themselves (Lu 22:8; and see Joh 13:23, 24). Now we find them constantly together, but John (yet young) only as a silent actor.
went up--were going up, were on their way.

2. a certain man lame from his mother's womb--and now "above forty years old" (Ac 4:22).
was carried--was wont to be carried.

4, 5. Peter fastening his eyes on him with John, said, Look on us. And he gave heed--that, through the eye, faith might be aided in its birth.

6. Silver and gold have I none, but such as I have give I thee--What a lofty superiority breathes in these words!
In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk--These words, uttered with supernatural power, doubtless begat in this poor man the faith that sent healing virtue through his diseased members.

7. And he took . . . and lifted him up--precisely what his Lord had done to his own mother-in-law (Mr 1:31).
his feet--"soles."
and ankle bones, &c.--the technical language of a physician (Col 4:14).

8. leaping up, stood . . . walked . . . entered the temple walking, leaping, and praising God--Every word here is emphatic, expressing the perfection of the cure, as Ac 3:7 its immediateness.

9. all the people saw him, &c.--as they assembled at the hour of public prayer, in the temple courts; so that the miracle had the utmost publicity.

10. they knew that it was he which sat for alms, &c.--(Compare Joh 9:8).

11. the lame man . . . held, &c.--This is human nature.
all the people ran together unto them in the porch, &c.--How vividly do these graphic details bring the whole scene before us! Thus was Peter again furnished with a vast audience, whose wonder at the spectacle of the healed beggar clinging to his benefactors prepared them to listen with reverence to his words.

12-16. why marvel at this?--For miracles are marvels only in relation to the limited powers of man.
as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk--Neither the might nor the merit of the cure are due to us, mere agents of Him whom we preach.

13. The God of Abraham, &c.--(See on Ac 2:22; Ac 2:36).
hath glorified his Son Jesus--rather, "his Servant Jesus," as the same word is rendered in Mt 12:18, but in that high sense in which Isaiah applies it always to Messiah (Isa 42:1; 49:6; 52:13; 53:11). When "Son" is intended a different word is used.
whom ye delivered up, &c.--With what heroic courage does Peter here charge his auditors with the heaviest of all conceivable crimes, and with what terrific strength of language are these charges clothed!

15. killed the Prince of life--Glorious paradox, but how piercing to the conscience of the auditors.

16. his name, through faith in his name, hath made this man strong, &c.--With what skill does the apostle use the miracle both to glorify his ascended Lord and bring the guilt of His blood more resistlessly home to his audience!

17-21. And now, brethren--Our preacher, like his Master, "will not break the bruised reed." His heaviest charges are prompted by love, which now hastens to assuage the wounds it was necessary to inflict.
I wot--"know."
through ignorance ye did it--(See marginal references, Lu 23:34; Ac 13:27; 26:9).

18. that Christ--The best manuscripts read, "that His Christ."
should suffer--The doctrine of a SUFFERING MESSIAH was totally at variance with the current views of the Jewish Church, and hard to digest even by the Twelve, up to the day of their Lord's resurrection. Our preacher himself revolted at it, and protested against it, when first nakedly announced, for which he received a terrible rebuke. Here he affirms it to be the fundamental truth of ancient prophecy realized unwittingly by the Jews themselves, yet by a glorious divine ordination. How great a change had the Pentecostal illumination wrought upon his views!

19. when the times of refreshing shall come--rather, "in order that the times of refreshing may come"; that long period of repose, prosperity and joy, which all the prophets hold forth to the distracted Church and this miserable world, as eventually to come, and which is here, as in all the prophets, made to turn upon the national conversion of Israel.

20. he shall send Jesus Christ--The true reading is, "He shall send your predestinated (or foreordained) Messiah, Jesus."

21. until the times--embracing the whole period between the ascension and the second advent of Christ.
restitution of all things--comprehending, probably, the rectification of all the disorders of the fall.

22-26. a prophet . . . like unto me--particularly in intimacy of communication with God (Nu 12:6-8), and as the mediatorial Head of a new order of things (Heb 3:2-6). Peter takes it for granted that, in the light of all he had just said, it would be seen at once that One only had any claim to be that Prophet.
him shall ye hear in all things, &c.--This part of the prediction is emphatically added, in order to shut up the audience to the obedience of faith, on pain of being finally "cut off" from the congregation of the righteous (Ps 1:1). 24. foretold of these days--of Messiah; all pointing to "the time of reformation" (Heb 9:10), though with more or less distinctness.
25. Ye are the children . . . of the covenant--and so the natural heirs of its promises.
in thy seed, &c.--(See on Ga 3:8, &c. ).

26. God, having raised up--not from the dead, but having provided, prepared, and given.
his Son Jesus--"His Servant Jesus" (see on Ac 3:13).
sent him to bless you--literally, "sent Him blessing you," as if laden with blessing.
in turning away every one of you from his iniquities--that is, "Hitherto we have all been looking too much for a Messiah who should shed outward blessings upon the nation generally, and through it upon the world. But we have learned other things, and now announce to you that the great blessing with which Messiah has come laden is the turning away of every one of you from his iniquities." With what divine skill does the apostle, founding on resistless facts, here drive home to the conscience of his auditors their guilt in crucifying the Lord of Glory; then soothe their awakened minds by assurances of forgiveness on turning to the Lord, and a glorious future as soon as this shall come to pass, to terminate with the Personal Return of Christ from the heavens whither He has ascended; ending all with warnings, from their own Scriptures, to submit to Him if they would not perish, and calls to receive from Him the blessings of salvation.