Key Verse: “So he, leaping up, stood and walked and entered the temple with them—walking, leaping, and praising God.”
—Acts 3:8, New King James Version
THE MAN NOTED IN OUR Key Verse had been lame from birth. Apparently, he grew up in the vicinity of the Temple and, at some point, began to solicit alms from passersby. The account states, “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 from those who entered the temple; who, seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked for alms.” (Acts 3:2,3, NKJV) He was therefore known for years to many Jews in Jerusalem, and on occasion some kindly offered him assistance.
Jesus had previously performed a miracle on a man who was “blind from birth.” He too frequented the Temple area. All knew that this man had been born blind. When he was given sight it was acknowledged, “Since the world began it has been unheard of that anyone opened the eyes of one who was born blind.”—John 9:1,32, NKJV
The point in both instances was that the disability afflicting these men was well documented. They were blind or lame from infancy. They were not planted as accomplices by the Apostles in order to perpetrate a hoax. Such methods would be cynical and a lie, although some modern “faith-healers” have chosen to use this practice in their revival meetings. These men were truly disabled—an indisputable fact, and it was the miraculous power of Christ that healed them.
Peter experienced great joy in healing the lame man, yet he did not claim the glory but gave it to Jesus—the one the Jews had rejected. “As the lame man who was healed held on to Peter and John, all the people ran together to them, … greatly amazed. So when Peter saw it, he responded to the people: Men of Israel, why do you marvel at this? Or why look so intently at us, as though by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified His Servant Jesus, whom you delivered up and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let Him go. … And His name, through faith in His name, has made this man strong, whom you see and know. Yes, the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.”—Acts 3:11-16, NKJV
In this account we are awed by the fact that this man’s legs, feet and ankles were instantly healed. That was indeed miraculous. We are also impressed that the man was instantly given the muscle coordination and skill to walk and leap about, though he had never done so in his life. This speaks to the omnipotence of God’s healing power. It takes most newborns about a year, on average, to learn to walk. Others, having suffered physical damage of one kind or another, may take months or years to learn to walk again. This happened instantly.
In this journal we have often spoken of the great healing of the nations in God’s coming kingdom. Then the blind will see, the deaf will hear, the lame will leap, and the mute will sing. (Isa. 35:1-10) In the fashion of the man born lame, the human family will then leap for joy and sing praises to their great God!