Om a certain day, Peter and John were headed into the temple area for afternoon prayer, which appears to have been the custom of the early church. There was a crippled man there; he was always there, begging for money because it was his only means of survival, having been unable to walk since birth. In a scene like so many that we find in the Gospel accounts of Jesus, they stopped and healed the man (3:6-7).
This story gives some substance to what we read in the previous passage (2:43) regarding the many wonders and signs being performed by the Apostles, of course this is the first one that Luke specifically relates to us.
As we read this, most of us will recall that when Jesus began His ministry, He, the embodiment of the Kingdom of heaven went from place to place proclaiming the Kingdom, teaching God’s truth, healing the sick, making the lame walk, restoring sight to the blind and driving out demons. We saw that this is quite a natural progression, for wherever the Kingdom goes there are truth, salvation, healing, wholeness and redemption from evil. In this account of one of those incidents, we see the new embodiments of the Kingdom, here represented by Peter and John doing the very same things that Jesus had done before. As we see events unfold in the rest of this chapter, we will also see that like Jesus, the Apostles will use miraculous signs and wonders not simply to benefit people like this poor man, but to to confirm their message of salvation as being genuine and truly from God.
It is also important for us to note that what the Kingdom brought was far more than physical healing and wholeness, that actually the physical miracles performed were but an illustration of the far greater spiritual healing that takes place within the kingdom, for the spiritual healing that takes place has eternal consequences… or maybe I should say eternal “benefits” or “rewards”.
As the passage concludes, the two Apostles, along with the very familiar and now restored man enter the temple courts, to the great wonder of the crowd gathered there, setting the scene for the next part of the story…