What does Acts 3:8 mean?
ESV: And leaping up, he stood and began to walk, and entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God.
NIV: He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God.
NASB: And leaping up, he stood and began to walk; and he entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God.
CSB: So he jumped up and started to walk, and he entered the temple with them--walking, leaping, and praising God.
NLT: He jumped up, stood on his feet, and began to walk! Then, walking, leaping, and praising God, he went into the Temple with them.
KJV: And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.
Verse Commentary:
Peter has healed a lame man through the power of Jesus Christ, and the man reacts. Jews have come to the temple to pray during the evening sacrifices (Acts 3:1), and this man is leaping around. Even more, he is praising God. This is why Peter had the man look at him and know how he was healed. Peter could have mumbled a prayer while he passed the man, but he didn't. He made sure the people around them knew that the words Peter spoke healed the man.

Taken at face value, this might seem to counter Jesus' instruction in Matthew 6:2–4. Jesus explained that when you give to the poor, you should do it in secret so that you receive your reward from God and not from human witnesses. The difference in Peter's action is explained by Jesus' introduction to the instruction: "Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them" (Matthew 6:1). Peter has no intention of bringing glory to himself. He is following Jesus' words in Matthew 5:14–16: he is letting his "light shine before others, so that they may see [his] good works and give glory to [his] Father who is in heaven." In fact, once the miracle attracts the attention of the crowd, Peter immediately explains the man is healed by Jesus' power, not his own (Acts 3:11–13).

Paul will have a similar interaction with a very different result. When he and Barnabas go to Lystra and heal a crippled man, the people come to the conclusion that Barnabas is Zeus and Paul is Hermes. They even try to sacrifice to the missionaries. Paul and Barnabas insist they are not Greek gods and barely keep the priests from sacrificing to them. The tables quickly turn when critics from Antioch Pisidium and Iconium arrive. The newcomers convince the locals that not only is Paul not Hermes, he is worthy of being stoned. It is by the grace of God that Paul survives (Acts 14:8–20).
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.
Accessed 4/16/2024 12:13:52 AM
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