The Aftermath of the Healing
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. He jumped up, stood on his feet, and began to walk! Then, walking, leaping, and praising God, he went into the Temple with them. All the people saw him walking and heard him praising God. When they realised he was the lame beggar they had seen so often at the Beautiful Gate, they were absolutely astounded! They all rushed out in amazement to Solomon’s Colonnade, where the man was holding tightly to Peter and John.Acts 3:7-11
Wow this a significant Gems – the 1400th. Only a hundred more to get to the 1500th. The last milestone I reached was with Bible Gems 1000 – A masterfully organized repetition of the same points (Luke 12:22–31) sent November 11th 2012. So it has taken me two years and two months to get through 400 Gems. Of course I have cut back from 6 Gems per week down to 3 so that stretches the time out somewhat. I hope the 1400th is worthy of such a momentous moment. Well, with all the build up here is the 1400th Gems I have written.
I have covered some of the elements of this text in earlier Gems. In Gem 1394 I dealt with the confusion between the Beautiful Gate and Solomon’s Colonade. If you remember, I suggested there is no contradiction here with the layout of the temple and it’s surroundings, as some have suggested, as long as we see the text as sequential. If we do that it adds to the significance of what happened that day. Here is a man who was so familiar to everyone who went to temple because they saw him everyday. Well, perhaps that is not true. They looked right through him rather than saw him but certainly they all knew him. He was deposited there everyday by family and friends filled with expectation but nothing ever happened so he had come down to settling for money. If the events are indeed sequential then the man enters the temple with Peter and John and sticks with them all through the temple service and then they depart from the other side of the temple through to Solomon’s Colonade where he is holding tight. He doesn’t want to let these two go.
Let’s look at the events with a different focus than what we have done thus far. On this day something happens when the man asks for alms. No, not arms, but alms. Well, actually not arms but ankles. As we spent some time looking at this in Gems 1396 to 1398 Peter ignored the man’s plea for money and cut straight to the heart of the matter. After saying the words of verse 6 Peter reaches out to take the man by the RIGHT hand and helped him up. One of the questions asked of this section was why the right hand? Why does Luke mention that little fact? It is quite likely that Peter took the man’s right hand at the same time using his own right hand to do so. The right hand denotes the position of power and authority. This was deliberate. Peter has just made a significant statement relating to what he has – the power and authority to act on God’s behalf. It seems this man needed some help to stand. Others have been told to stand without any assistance. Not this man. But as he stood with Peter’s help, instantly he was healed. I suspect his ankles and feet were the problem at the centre of his infirmity because it is that which Luke, the doctor, focuses on. Instantly his ankles and feet were healed and strengthened. Normally atrophy of muscular tissue takes place in a person who has not walked for a long time. Muscle tone wastes away to the point where the person cannot walk even if their core problem was healed.
Note that the man didn’t just stand up shakely on his legs and tentatively walk around saying, “I’m Healed”. He jumped up, stood on his feet and began walking around. What is interesting in this section is the verb for “jumped up” is a present participle. The action is on-going. Yet it is a different verb to the one used for leaping in the next burst of activity. [Exallomenos] contains the idea of jumping up or leaping up. But it must denote a different action from a single leap to get to his feet. Seemingly this initial action was continuous as well which is strange. One would think the man made a single jump or leap in order to stand up then began walking around. Seemingly that was not the case. The initial leaping continued for a while. He then followed Peter and John into the temple walking and leaping and praising God. Here the verb for leaping has changed to [hallomai] which means to spring up. This guy had springs in his feet. These subsequent actions are all continuous. You couldn’t stop this man. He kept leaping about for joy, demonstrating the fact that he was indeed healed in a miraculous way.
Luke tells us all the people at the temple saw him and heard him. This guy wouldn’t stay still and he wouldn’t stay silent. This guy was not backward in coming forward. He wanted everyone to know he had been healed. With Luke telling us all the people saw him, heard him and recognised him (realised – NLT) it is clear he was going about through all the crowd for some time demonstrating the fact the he had been healed. You can bet the crowd was buzzing as they all recognised him as being the one who sat continually in his place at the Beautiful Gate. It must have been hard to miss him. This guy was leaping around for joy praising God for his miracle. He was over-the-top exuberant, ecstatic with delight at what had happened to him. He wanted to tell everyone that he was healed and who had done it. He praised God with all of his being. Why? Because Peter had told him “in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, get up and walk”. The reason for his healing and the source of it was clear. It was linked to Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whose story was being spread everywhere. That is the reason you are healed, not because of anything that Peter and John have done. It was Jesus who healed you. But Jesus is dead isn’t He? No, He is very much alive and present with you all by the means of His Holy Spirit. When you really think about it, this is a mind boggling story.
The words used tell us so. The crowd was astounded and amazed. So much so that the crowd as one rushed out to find the man on the other side of the temple. He was now out on the other side of the temple in Solomon’s Colonade. It was a large area covered by a portico or roofed in. But the point is that all who entered by the main gate before, now rushed to the other side to get in on the action. Now that area was packed with people as they rushed out to surround the man who clung tightly to Peter and John. Note the words astounded, astonished, amazement, rushed. This describes a crowd in a frenzy to follow the action. There was pandemonium in and around the temple. This man had told everyone he could what had happened to him and now they were all caught up in the frenzy of it all.
Now the question is why was the man clinging on to Peter and John? Is he surprised at what his praise and testimony has caused and he is clinging on to them for protection against the swell of the crowd surging toward them? Some have suggested that but I don’t buy it. Is he clinging on in order to stay upright in the press of the crowd around them? No, I don’t buy that either. I think Luke is giving us an indication that this man is holding tight and not letting go. His clinging is more than a physical holding on. I believe he was identifying with Peter and John and saying to the crowd I am with these guys. Where they go, I go. Interesting. We don’t hear anymore about him but I would bet that he became a follower of Jesus and a hanger on (clinger) to Peter and John. He knows clearly he was healed because of Jesus but he knows too that he wants more of Peter and John.
The account of what happened after the healing is filled with action and praise and wonderment. I can imagine being there and being caught up in the aftermath of this guy’s healing and reaction. He was clearly an extrovert and laying his joy out there for all to see. Contrast this with the reaction in Luke 17:11-19 of the ten lepers who were healed and only one (a Samaritan) came back to give thanks and praise for his healing. This healing was directly from Jesus hand whereas the healing in Acts was via Peter and John but the reaction was a world apart. I will leave you with the contrast and a question. Which best describes your response to God’s miraculous hand in your life when it happens? Does praise and thanksgiving flow freely from you? Or is it harder to raise you into leaping and praising? Just a thought for you to ponder?
Your reaction to God’s hand in your life has nothing to do with whether you are an extrovert or an introvert. It’s about giving Him the praise due to Him. Break out of the mould and praise Him.Ian Vail
When you hear a voice within you say, “Don’t be concerned with what will people think. Rather that’s the time to burst forth with uninhibited, exuberant praise.Ian Vail
Put a smile on God’s face and praise Him with all your might.Ian Vail
Live life to express, not to impress.Kris Valloton