“Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour. 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; who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms. And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us. And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them. Then Petersaid, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I to thee: in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. Arad he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God: 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 as the lame man which was healed told Peter and John, all the people ran together unto them in the porch that is called Solomon’s, greatly wondering” (Acts 3:1-11).

This first apostolic miracle is highly typical of God’s healing power in connection with His people Israel in that day when He shall bring them from their helpless condition to a place of renown among nations. Today they are helpless and during the approaching tribulation they will become more helpless; but following the tribulation period the nation shall be born again and take its place at the head of world government.

This miracle also pictures to us the power of God operating in the heart of the condemned and helpless sinner, transforming him into the new creature and giving him a tongue with which to praise his God and Saviour.

Peter and John were going up to the temple to observe the hour of prayer, the “ninth hour”—about three o’clock in the afternoon. This was probably the hour set apart by the “custom of the priest’s office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord. And the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of incense” (Luke 1:9-10).

This particular cripple was a “certain man lame from his mother’s womb” (Acts 3:2). His lameness was in his “feet and ankle bones” (Acts 3:7). In all of his life he had never been able to walk; but had to be carried about by others. In this helpless condition, he depended upon the alms givers for his livelihood.

This poor man saw Peter and John as they were “about to go into the temple” and “asked an alms” (Acts 3:3). Both Peter and John fastened their eyes upon the man (Acts 3:4). That is, they looked intently upon him. The very expression in the eyes of these two men of God caused the lame man to expect an alms (Acts 3:5); but we are reasonably sure that he did not expect anything more than silver or gold.

“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. And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping and praising God” (Acts 3:6-8).

The Holy Spirit was careful to say, through Peter, “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk” (Acts 3:6). He knew that a little bit later He was going to have Peter stand before the people and say—”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? The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, bath glorified His Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied Him in the presence of Pilate when he was determined to let Him go. But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you; And killed the Prince of Life, whom God bath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses. And His name, through faith in His name, bath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by Him bath given him perfect soundness in the presence of you all” (Acts 3:12-16).

He also knew that still later He would speak through Peter to the Sanhedrin, saying—”Ye rulers of the people and elders of Israel, if we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole; be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by Him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:8-12).

It was necessary to impress upon the people, also upon their rulers and elders that the Holy Spirit was working through the apostles “in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth” whom they had rejected and killed.

However, the Holy Spirit was clear in His testimony to the people of Israel that their actions toward the Saviour were committed in ignorance. Notice His language in Acts 3:17 and 18—”And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also you rulers. But those things, which God before had skewed by the mouth of all His prophets, that Christ should suffer, He hath so fulfilled.”

He also offered “the time of refreshing,” that is, kingdom blessings to the nation of Israel providing they would repent and be converted, “that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; And He shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you.” It is important to note that this time of refreshing for national Israel cannot come until Christ returns to the earth to rule and reign. And He will not return until the nation of Israel, under the convicting power of the Holy Spirit, repents and turns to Christ whom they rejected and nailed to the tree. “The heaven” has received the rejected King “until the times of the restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began” (Acts 3:21). Carefully read the language of the following verses—”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. 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” (Acts 3:22-26). Does it seem logical that the above quotation could have been addressed to the church, which is the body of Christ, “Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations” (Colossians 1:26)? Surely this testimony of the Holy Spirit, through Peter, was directed to the people of Israel and has to do with that which was promised through the “mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.”