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May 15, 2020

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Bible Gemz 1390 - Asking the right questions (Acts 3)

January 21, 2019


The Setting:

Peter and John went to the Temple one afternoon to take part in the three o'clock prayer service. 

As they approached the Temple, a man lame from birth was being carried in. Each day he was put beside the Temple gate, the one called the Beautiful Gate, so he could beg from the people going into the Temple. 


The Miracle/Sign/Wonder:

When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for some money. 

Peter and John looked at him intently, and Peter said, "Look at us!" 

The lame man looked at them eagerly, expecting some money. 

But Peter said, "I don't have any silver or gold for you. But I'll give you what I have. In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, get up and walk!" 

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 realized 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. 


The Speech:

Peter saw his opportunity and addressed the crowd. "People of Israel," he said, "what is so surprising about this? And why stare at us as though we had made this man walk by our own power or godliness? 

For it is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—the God of all our ancestors—who has brought glory to His servant Jesus by doing this. This is the same Jesus whom you handed over and rejected before Pilate, despite Pilate's decision to release Him. 

You rejected this holy, righteous One and instead demanded the release of a murderer. 

You killed the Author of life, but God raised Him from the dead. And we are witnesses of this fact! 

"Through faith in the name of Jesus, this man was healed—and you know how crippled he was before. Faith in Jesus' name has healed him before your very eyes. 

"Friends, I realize that what you and your leaders did to Jesus was done in ignorance. 

But God was fulfilling what all the prophets had foretold about the Messiah—that He must suffer these things. 

Now repent of your sins and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped away. 

Then times of refreshment will come from the presence of the Lord, and He will again send you Jesus, your appointed Messiah. 

For He must remain in heaven until the time for the final restoration of all things, as God promised long ago through His holy prophets. 

Moses said, 'The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from among your own people. Listen carefully to everything He tells you.' 

Then Moses said, 'Anyone who will not listen to that Prophet will be completely cut off from God's people.' 

"Starting with Samuel, every prophet spoke about what is happening today. 

You are the children of those prophets, and you are included in the covenant God promised to your ancestors. For God said to Abraham, 'Through your descendants all the families on earth will be blessed.' 

When God raised up His servant, Jesus, He sent Him first to you people of Israel, to bless you by turning each of you back from your sinful ways.” (Acts 3:1-26)



I hope you came up with some questions of your own. I did and one of you wrote to me with a question they have had for years. It had to be Suryadi, who was also the one who asked me the question related to Revelation 7 which he had buzzing around in his mind for 20 years. I wonder how long this one has been percolating, Pak Suryadi. His question is another meaty one. I wouldn't expect anything else. 


Suryadi's question for years:

If the lame-man each day stayed at the Temple gate, why [had] he never met with Jesus before?
Around 60-75 days before, Jesus came in Jerusalem, came to the Temple, also Jesus was angry with many businessmen who had their commodities offered at the Temple. Everyday Jesus had touched [people] in the Temple. So where is the lame-man at that time? 

Now you have to admit that is a good question. Help him out. What do you think the answer is?



Here are the questions I came up with after reading the passage over and over:


The Setting:

Why does Luke set the scene in such detail when this is just a “one afternoon” story?

What does Luke mean as "they approached the temple”? “Going up”?

Where did this action actually take place – in the temple or outside it?

Where is meant by the Beautiful Gate?

Does it have some special significance?

Why does Luke tell us specifically that it was 3.00 pm (Ninth Hour)? Is there a significance to that?


The Miracle: 

Why were Peter and John looking at him intently?

How is it this man didn't encounter Jesus if he was there EVERY day?

Is there any significance to Peter taking the man by the right hand?

"Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee” a powerful statement – help me to understand it deeper Lord.

Why does the scene switch from the Beautiful Gate to Solomon’s Colonnade? 

Wouldn't they still be at the Beautiful Gate when the man was still holding on tightly to Peter and John?

There seems something funny with the sequence of this.

What part did John play when it was Peter who made the statement?


The Speech:

Why is the speech so unconnected to the Miracle?

It is like the speech could have been on any occasion. Did Peter really make this speech at the scene of this miracle?

Are the critics right when they claim it is a canned "Jesus speech” squeezed in anywhere there was an opportunity?  

After the first line it seems no longer miracle-connected? 

The second part of Peter’s speech seems to have a different focus.

Do the two parts belong together?

From a Westerner's point of view verses 19 – 25 appear to focus on unrelated things.


"You killed the author of life” seems to be an important statement. Help me to understand the depths of it Holy Spirit. 

Is it really true that “starting with Samuel, every prophet spoke about what is happening today"?


And many more “little” questions over words used. I will pick out the important ones and include those in the following Gemz.


Do you have any more questions? Now is the time to ask them. 



The quality of your life is set by the questions you ask yourself. The more honest & brave the questions, the further you'll go.  Rick Warren


A wise man can learn more from a foolish QUESTION than a fool can from a wise ANSWER.


More important than the answers I give you are the questions I stir you to ask.  Ian


It is not that I'm so smart. But I stay with the questions much longer.  Albert Einstein


If we are searching & haven't found the right answer ... maybe it's because we haven't asked the right question.  Jonny Herjawan


You can learn more from the Bible by asking wise questions.


Jesus is the answer; now what’s the question?  Ian



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