What does Acts 3:7 mean?
ESV: And he took him by the right hand and raised him up, and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong.
NIV: Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man's feet and ankles became strong.
NASB: And grasping him by the right hand, he raised him up; and immediately his feet and his ankles were strengthened.
CSB: Then, taking him by the right hand he raised him up, and at once his feet and ankles became strong.
NLT: Then Peter took the lame man by the right hand and helped him up. And as he did, the man’s feet and ankles were instantly healed and strengthened.
KJV: And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ancle bones received strength.
Verse Commentary:
Peter has just proclaimed his intent to heal a lame beggar (Acts 3:6). Jesus had equipped His disciples with the ability to heal before (Mark 6:7–13; Luke 10:1–12), although it appears that ability was for limited timespans. With Jesus' ascension, His followers have received the permanent in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1–4). In some cases, and for the early establishment of the church, this included miraculous signs. This is one of many miracles to be accomplished through them (Acts 2:43; 5:12–16) in the service of being Jesus' witnesses to the world (Acts 1:8).

After Peter heals the man, he holds out his hand and helps the man to stand. Once the man realizes what has happened, the beggar walks, leaps, and praises God (Acts 3:8).

We must be careful not to spiritualize Scripture that is meant to be read literally. However, there are times when literal events serve as symbolic explanations of spiritual truths. This scene echoes the experiences of people who are healed from their sinful habits. It's not uncommon to hear people say, "God healed me from that addiction." What they mean is that they no longer feel the unbearable impulse to act in that particular harmful way. It doesn't mean that they are freed for the rest of their lives. If one day the lame man had refused to stand, eventually he would have become too weak to walk again. He, again, would have had to resort to begging. In a similar way, someone who has been released from sin needs to walk and continue to walk. He needs to continue to live as someone who is healed, not fall back in old broken patterns.
Verse Context:
Acts 3:1–10 illustrates one of the ''wonders and signs'' the apostles performed after receiving the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:43). The setting is completely mundane. As Jews, Peter and John go to the temple to pray and find a lame beggar they wish to help. As specially-empowered followers of Jesus, healing the man comes second nature. The act validates Peter's status as witness to Jesus (Acts 1:8), and he is ready with an explanation that ties the event to Jesus' call to repentance (Acts 3:11–26). This miracle, however, catches the attention of the Sanhedrin and starts the long road of church persecution (Acts 4).
Chapter Summary:
Acts 3 is comprised of two sections: the healing of a lame man and the explanation of that healing. First, a man who has been lame his whole life approaches Peter and John to beg from them at the temple. When Peter heals him in Jesus' name, a crowd gathers around. Peter gives witness to Jesus (Acts 1:8) and tells the crowd that Jesus' authority and power healed this man. Looking back as modern readers, we see how, as the man's body symbolically ''repented,'' or turned away, from its broken form into freedom of movement, so the people can repent from their broken thoughts, actions, and beliefs, and find freedom from sin.
Chapter Context:
Acts 3 contains the second major speech of Jesus' followers. In Acts 1, Jesus ascended into heaven. In Acts 2, His followers received the Holy Spirit and gave such witness to Him that three thousand people believed in Him. Here, Peter explains that Jesus' power and authority have healed a lame man, and Jesus can heal sinful hearts, as well. This moment will bring the fledgling church to the attention of the Sanhedrin: the Jewish ruling court. There, Peter and John will set the example for all Jesus-followers. Jesus told them to be His witness (Acts 1:8); nothing a human authority can say will stop them.
Book Summary:
The summary of the book of Acts is provided in Jesus' words in Acts 1:8: ''But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.'' In Acts 2:1–13, the Christ-followers receive the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:14—7:60 describes the rapid growth of the church in Jerusalem. Chapters 8—12 find Jewish persecution inadvertently spreading the gospel throughout Judea and Samaria. And in chapters 13—28, Paul and his companions spread the good news throughout the Roman Empire.
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