Acts 3

Acts 3:2

And a man who had been lame from his mother’s womb was being carried along, whom they used to set down every day at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, in order to beg alms of those who were entering the temple.

The temple which had been so hostile to Christ, became the site of the first miracle performed by the apostles and the birthplace of the early church. See entry for Acts 2:46.

Acts 3:6

But Peter said, “I do not possess silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you: In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene—walk!”

Jesus the Nazarene. A Nazarene was someone from Nazareth, a Galilean town of little consequence. In Judea, Jesus was known as a Nazarene in fulfilment of prophecy (see entry for Matt. 2:23).

Acts 3:11

While he was clinging to Peter and John, all the people ran together to them at the so-called portico of Solomon, full of amazement.

The portico of Solomon. The temple plaza was large enough to accommodate the million or so pilgrims who regularly flocked to Jerusalem for various feasts and festivals. Surrounding the temple were shady porticoes or covered porches lined with 162 Corinthian columns. The eastern portico was known as Solomon’s portico. Jesus ministered there (John 10:23) and the early church met there (Acts 5:12).

Acts 3:14

“But you disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked for a murderer to be granted to you,

(a) The Holy One refers to Jesus; see entry for Mark 1:24.

(b) Righteous One. Jesus Christ is the Righteous One and the Righteous Branch spoken of by the prophets (Is. 24:16, 53:11, Jer. 23:5, 33:15). Just as Jesus is the Word made flesh, the living Truth, and the personification of the Father’s grace (John 1:14, 14:6), he is the embodiment of God’s righteousness.

Acts 3:15

but put to death the Prince of life, the one whom God raised from the dead, a fact to which we are witnesses.

(a) Prince. The original word (archegos) can mean chief beginner which is why some Bibles translate this word as author. Jesus is the Author, the Originator, and the Prince of Life.

(b) Life. Two kinds of life are described in the Bible; the psuche– or soul life we inherited from Adam and the zoe– or spirit life that comes from God (John 5:26). It’s the second kind of life that is described here. See entry for New Life.

(c) Witnesses. In addition to the apostles, more than 500 people saw the risen Lord (1 Cor. 15:6).

Acts 3:16

“And on the basis of faith in His name, it is the name of Jesus which has strengthened this man whom you see and know; and the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect health in the presence of you all.

(a) On the basis of faith in His name. The religious leaders had faith in God but they did not believe in Jesus. Their faith was dead and useless (Jas. 2:17, 20).

All of God’s blessings, including forgiveness, salvation, righteousness and sanctification, come to us freely by grace and are received by faith. Faith does not compel God to forgive us or sanctify us. But faith is the conduit through which grace flows. See entry for Eph. 2:8.

(b) The faith which comes through Him. Jesus is the author of faith (Heb. 12:2).

(c) Given him this perfect health. It is the grace of God that heals us, but we receive his grace through faith (Eph. 2:8).

Acts 3:19

“Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord;

(a) Repent. To repent means to change your mind. In context, it means changing your mind about Christ and the goodness of God (Rom. 2:4). Peter is echoing Jesus who said “Repent and believe the good news” (Mark 1:15). “Change your unbelieving mind and believe the glad tidings of God’s grace and forgiveness.” See entry for Repentance.

(b) Repent and return. In the new covenant, repentance is often described as a return or turning to God (see entry for Acts 26:20).

Acts 3:21

whom heaven must receive until the period of restoration of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient time.

Restoration of all things. One day creation will be free from the curse placed upon it. Death, decay, pollution, extinction are the fruits of the fall, while healing, resurrection, immortality are the fruits of Christ’s obedience. Adam broke it; Jesus is restoring it. Adam’s curse brought disconnection and alienation; Christ’s blessing brings koinonia, true fellowship flowing from the heart of the Father. God’s renovation is well underway and will conclude when the Son of Man who is the Son of God returns to be with us forever (1 Th. 4:17). See entry for Rev. 21:5.

Acts 3:22


A prophet like me refers to Jesus; see entry for Acts 7:37.

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