Acts 3:12 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Acts 3:12, NIV: When Peter saw this, he said to them: 'Fellow Israelites, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk?

Acts 3:12, ESV: And when Peter saw it he addressed the people: “Men of Israel, why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we have made him walk?

Acts 3:12, KJV: 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?

Acts 3:12, NASB: But when Peter saw this, he replied to the people, 'Men of Israel, why are you amazed at this, or why are you staring at us, as though by our own power or godliness we had made him walk?

Acts 3:12, NLT: Peter saw his opportunity and addressed the crowd. 'People of Israel,' he said, 'what is so surprising about this? And why stare at us as though we had made this man walk by our own power or godliness?

Acts 3:12, CSB: When Peter saw this, he addressed the people: "Fellow Israelites, why are you amazed at this? Why do you stare at us, as though we had made him walk by our own power or godliness?

What does Acts 3:12 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Jesus has two contrasting teachings on doing good works. In Matthew 6:1–4, He says to give to the poor secretly so that the giver will receive honor from God instead of other people. But in Matthew 5:16, He says to "let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven." The difference between these is the motivation for the work. Good works should be made public if they inspire that public to glorify God (Matthew 5:14–16). The lame man had the correct reaction: when he realized he was healed, he entered the temple, "walking and leaping and praising God" (Acts 3:8). The crowd, however, seems to place the honor on Peter and John. Peter needs to stop this line of thought immediately.

Paul and Barnabas will face something similar in Lystra, during their first missionary journey. After Paul heals a man lame from birth, the people decide Barnabas is Zeus and Paul, who is the spokesman, must be Hermes. Paul and Barnabas immediately deny the assertions and are barely able to stop the people from offering sacrifices to them (Acts 14:8–18).

One person who did not understand this was Herod Agrippa I, who is king over Judea at this point. Agrippa was well-tolerated by the Jewish leadership, in part because he primarily lived in Jerusalem, not Caesarea Maritima, and in part because he prevented Caligula from placing a statue of himself in the temple. But one morning, during a celebration in Caesarea, the sun's rays caught his silver robe—according to the historian Josephus—inspiring the people to cry out, "The voice of a god, and not of a man!" (Acts 12:22). Although Herod somewhat respected the God of the Jews, he did not correct the people, and an angel struck him such that he died (Acts 12:20–23).