Confraternity Bible: New Testament and Supplemental Commentary

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ACTS - Chapter 3

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Acts 3

Supplemental Commentary:

I.  THE CHURCH IN PALESTINE AND SYRIA  2, 1 -- 12, 25 (continued)

1.  Growth of the Church in Jerusalem  2, 1 -- 8, 3 (continued)

3, 1-11:  A Lame Beggar.  Having pictured the peaceful life of the first Christians, St. Luke passes on to report a miracle that led to persecution.  The event is not dated; there may have been a long interval between the second and third chapters.

The scene is in the temple at the time of the evening sacrifice (about 3 p.m.).  The gate called Beautiful was probably the one leading from the Court of the Gentiles to the Court of the Women, and the porch called Solomon's was the colonnade running along the eastern side of the Court of the Gentiles.

3, 12-26:  Peter's Discourse.  St. Peter follows the lines of his first discourse, calling for repentance and faith in Jesus, but he dwells more on their sin in crucifying Jesus (13-17), on the prophecies about the sufferings of the Messias (18), and His prophetic office (22-24), and on His Second Coming at the end of the world (20-21).  He indicates the divinity of Jesus by calling Him the Holy and Just One and the author of life (15).  He again stresses the special blessings of the Jews (25), but by the words to you first (26) he shows that he realized the Gentiles would be converted later.


Confraternity Bible:

A Lame Beggar  1 Now Peter and John were going up into the temple at the  ninth hour of prayer.  2 And a certain man, who had been lame from his mother's womb, was being carried by, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple called the Beautiful, that he might ask alms of those going into the temple.  3 And he, seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked for an alms.  4 But Peter, gazing upon him with John, said, "Look at us."  5 And he looked at them earnestly, hoping to receive something from them.  6 But Peter said, "Silver and gold I have none; but what I have, that I give thee.  In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, arise and walk."

7 And taking him by the right hand, he raised him up, and immediately his feet and ankles became strong.  8 And leaping up, he stood and began to walk, and went with them into the temple, walking and leaping and praising God.  9 And all the people saw him walking and praising God.  10 And they recognized him as the man who used to sit for alms at the Beautiful Gate of the temple, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.

11 Now as he clung to Peter and John, all the people ran to them in the portico called Solomon's, greatly wondering.

Peter's Discourse  12 But when Peter saw it, he said to the people: "Men of Israel, why do you marvel at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by any power or holiness of our own we had made this man walk?  13 The God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his Son Jesus, whom you indeed delivered up and disowned before the face of Pilate, when he had decided that he should be released.  14 But you disowned the Holy and Just One, and asked that a murderer should be granted to you; 15 but the author of life you killed, whom God has raised up from the dead; whereof we are witnesses.  16 And it is his name, by means of faith in his name, that has made strong this man whom you behold and recognize; moreover it is the faith that comes through Jesus that has given him the perfect health you all see.

17 "And now, brethren, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers.  18 But in this way God fulfilled what he had announced beforehand by the mouth of all the prophets, namely, that his Christ should suffer.  19 Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out 20 in order that, when the times of refreshment shall come from the presence of the Lord, he may send him who has been preached to you, Jesus Christ.  21 For heaven indeed must receive him until the times of the restoration of all things, of which God has spoken by the mouth of his holy prophets who have been from of old.  22* For Moses said,
'The Lord your God shall raise up to you a prophet from among your brethren, as he raised up me; to him you shall hearken in all things that he shall speak to you. 

23* And it shall be that every soul that will not hearken to that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.' 
24 And all the prophets who have spoken, from Samuel onwards, have also announced these days.  25* You are the children of the prophets and of the covenant that God made with your fathers, saying to Abraham,
'And in thy offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed.' 
26 To you first God, raising up his Son, has sent him to bless you, that everyone may turn from his wickedness."
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*

22-23: Deut. 18, 15.

25: Gen. 12, 3.