Lesson Info:

Lesson 11 Summer Quarter
Lesson Text: Acts 3:1-16
Golden Text: Acts 3:6

Listen to Today’s Lesson


Over the past couple of weeks, we have taken a look at Jesus’ power and authority over the natural (physical realm) and the spiritual.  Believing that Jesus could heal the spiritual and natural afflictions may have been a great deal easier for those that were able to witness Jesus’ healing power.  However, we live in a time that several others lived in, the days after Christ’s resurrection.  Do you believe that Jesus, the Lord, still has authority over the physical and the spiritual?

We ought to be more like the centurion who having never seen Jesus still believed that Jesus had the power to heal.  Our lesson this week takes a look at the healing done by Peter and John after receiving the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4).  This week’s lesson is being taught from Acts 3:1-16.

In the Name of Jesus

Our lesson opens with Peter and John going up to the temple at the hour prayer (v.1); we are specifically told it was the ninth hour (about 3pm to sunset).  At the temple, we are told that there was a certain man who was lame from birth (v.2).  This man was brought to the temple daily so that he could ask for alms (charitable goods). When the man saw Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked for alms (v.3).

I imagine that this was something that reminded both Peter and John about how Jesus had healed one who had a physical affliction from birth.  In John’s gospel, we are told about a man who had been blind from birth (John 9:1-12).  The disciples asked Jesus had the blind man’s parents done something – sinned – that caused him to be born blind.  Jesus responded to them, “neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him.”

Whether you want to hear this or not, I believe that a lot of times we end up going through things, we go through them to strengthen our faith in the Lord.  As James said, we should count it all joy when we fall into various trials because the testing of our faith produces patience – it strengthens us (Jas. 1:3).  Not only is our faith strengthened through our trials, but the Lord is glorified in our trials and tribulations.

Am I saying that this man was born blind intentionally?  I cannot say.  However, I would suggest to you that I do not believe it was a coincidence that this blind man was at the temple at that moment in time.  A mighty work was about to be done for this man and it would testify of the Lord’s healing power through both Peter and John.

Rise up and walk

So, when Peter and John noticed the man, they fixed their eyes upon him.  Peter, without hesitation, told the man to look at them as he prepared to do the good work of God (v.4).  Scripture then tells us that this man believed he was about to receive alms after having asked for them (v.5).  What this man was about to receive would be greater than any alms he could ever receive from anyone.

Peter said to the man, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you:  In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk (v.6).”  So, let’s make this very clear that Peter was not doing this work in any other name but God; he was not doing this in his own name.

You see, there is nothing that we can do in our own name when it comes to the work of God.  There certainly are many people who have tried, and still try to this day, to do the work of God in their own name.  Those that work in this manner are false workers of the Lord and their work will not flourish or help anyone.  No, it is work that is done out of genuine faith and in the name of Jesus, that produces good fruit and benefits those that receive it.

I often mention this man as an example when it comes to this because he is such a good example for teaching this, but Simon the sorcerer had to learn this lesson (Acts 8:9-24).  Simon, scripture tells us, was a man that practiced sorcery in Samaria; his sorcery had astonished many of those in Samaria.

However, Philip, an apostle, had made his way to Samaria and had been doing the work of the Lord.  Simon noticed that Philip’s work was not sorcery – there were no tricks.  You see, Philip had been doing work in the name of Jesus and had truly been healing those who were in Samaria.  Simon was essentially a magician whose works were based on tricks of the eye.  I mention this because I want you to understand that there are tricks and mirrors when it comes to doing work in the name of the Lord.

The faith to stand up

In our lesson, we will see that after Peter tells the man to rise up and walk, he took the man by the right hand and lifted him up; his feet and ankle bones immediately began to receive strength (v.7).  Now, I want you to understand that it took faith in the name of Jesus for this man to have been strengthened to stand up to his feet.  You see, had this man not had any faith, he would not have been able to stand to his feet.

How do we know that this man had faith in the Lord to be able to stand up to his feet?  Well, take a look at his very next actions.  We are told that he lept up and immediately entered the temple praising the Lord (v.8)!  This man was looking for alms from man but received a mighty blessing from the Lord!

I mentioned Philip just briefly a few moments ago, but the disciples had received the power to heal and help those around them when they received the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:6-8).  Jesus specifically said to the apostles, “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

You may recall that the first time Jesus sent the disciples out to minister, they were given power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases (Luke 9:1).  So, this was not necessarily a new experience for the apostles though this time around they were doing it without Jesus physically being in the world.  Over a period of time, the miracles stopped as the message of believing in Christ and the power in His name had been put into the world.

Power in His name

Faith, we must remember, is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Heb. 11:1).  It’s not faith if we see a lame man healed; it is faith to believe that we can be healed in the name of Jesus.  In other words, in those moments where we have fallen down, we must have genuine faith that the Lord will lift us up and that He will do so repeatedly.

When the people saw the lame man on his feet moving around and praising the Lord, they were absolutely amazed (vss.9-10); we have to remember that this man had been lame all his life.  Scripture tells us that the people ran to the lame man who had gone back to be with Peter and John (v.11).  When Peter looked out at the people who were looking in amazement, he asked them, “why do you marvel at this?  Or why look so intently at us, as though by our own power or godliness we made this man walk (v.12)?”

Now, the people had not been around to hear that Peter spoke to the lame man to rise up and walk in the name of Jesus.  This means that the people weren’t there to see that the lame man had faith in the name of Jesus to be healed.  So, Peter was going to take this moment to testify of the Lord and to have faith in the name of Christ.

Peter says to the people, “The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified His Servant Jesus, who you delivered up and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he (Pilate) was determined to let Him go.  But you denied the Holy One and the Just, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, and killed the Prince of life, who God raised from the dead, of which we (he and John) are witnesses (vss.13-15).”

Testing of the name of Jesus

So, Peter was making it very clear to the people that the lame man was healed in the name of Jesus.  What is very interesting about Peter’s statement to the people is that it points out the fact that the lame man’s healing did not happen in some distant amount of time from the death and resurrection of Christ.

Personally, I get used to taking a look at Paul in his journeys which took place years after the death of Jesus.  I also get used to taking a look and studying John’s writings in which he wrote when he was known as ‘the elder’.  Peter was speaking to a group of people that was there to hear and see – to witness – Jesus with their own eyes but they rejected Him.

So, here was another opportunity for those that had once rejected Christ, to receive Him.  Peter tells the people that the lame man was strengthened through faith in His name (v.16).  I am of the belief that the Lord gives everyone an ample amount of opportunities to accept Him.  The worst thing that a person can do is reject the Lord over and over and over again.

People all around us are being healed in the name of Jesus.  Now, you may not see that healing being done with your own eyes but when someone testifies of what the Lord has done for them, I suggest you listen closely and open your heart to their testimony.  The name of Jesus has the power to heal; it has the power to save.  As I said in my sermon last week, if you truly desire to be healed, I suggest you lean on and depend on the Lord.


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