You probably know that story when Peter and John healed a lame man. But you don’t know the details yet.
In this article, let’s know more about the following:
- Peter and John
- Their ministry together
- The lame man
- The story of healing
- Ten epic things that happened that day
Who Were the Characters?
Probably, you know Peter.
I mean, why not? He was one of the most well-known of Jesus’ twelve disciples.
But there are things you still don’t know about him.
Who was he personally?
Jonas was Peter’s father. Then, Andrew was his brother (John 1:40; 21:15, KJV).
Did you already know that?
Now, what about his hometown?
Peter grew up in Bethsaida and Capernaum (John 1:44; Matthew 8:5-17, ESV)
Then, you might be asking what he was doing.
His occupation before knowing Jesus
Peter worked as a fisherman at Capernaum (Oakman, in Deni Rene YouTube Channel, 2017). He partnered with Andrew, James, and John.
Unfortunately, these men couldn’t eat their catch of fresh fish.
Why and how?
Based on their contract with the tax collector, fresh fish would only be for the rich people. Hence, they could only get processed fish in return.
So unfair, right?
What would you do if you were in this kind of work? How would you fight for your right?
How did he meet Jesus?
Andrew, Peter’s brother, was listening to John the Baptist’s preaching about the coming of Jesus. And the baptist told that Jesus was with them already!
If you were Andrew, wouldn’t you feel excited?
Imagine having the opportunity of finally meeting and shaking hands with your favorite actor. What an opportunity!
Eventually, Andrew decided to follow Jesus right away (John 1:40, NIV). To his excitement, he called Peter to meet Him.
And do you know what? That day, Peter followed Jesus, too (SDA Bible Dictionary 4.4, 584-94).
Such a quick decision, wasn’t it?
Well, they must have heard a lot of good things about Jesus before meeting Him in person. They’ve been waiting for Him since then.
How did he live his life after knowing Jesus?
As Jesus’ disciple, Peter belonged to the intimate three with James and John.
With this, he saw how Jesus transfigured (Luke 9:28, ESV). Also, he was there when He prayed in Gethsemane (Matthew 26:36-46, ESV).
What else do you have in mind?
But, like other disciples, Peter had his embarrassing moments with Jesus that made him regret a lot.
For instance, he almost drowned while trying to walk on water (Matthew 14:28-33, ESV).
Well, can you remember your worst show-off experience?
Let’s say you wanted to show your playmates you could jump from the roof of your house. But you ended up hurting yourself, realizing how crazy you were trying to fly.
Peter must have felt that pride and excitement, too. He wanted to prove how brave he was. So, he came out of the boat and stepped into the water to walk with Jesus on the sea.
Unfortunately, fear and doubt overcame him. So, he began sinking. But thanks to Jesus for grabbing his hand immediately!
Another instance was when people recognized Peter as one of Jesus’ followers. But he was afraid the people would associate him with Jesus’ trial and crucifixion. So, he denied them, saying he didn’t know Him.
All of a sudden, the rooster crowed (Luke 22:54-62, ESV). And it was precisely what Jesus warned him about before (John 13:31-38, ESV).
Imagine how guilty he felt that he denied his own Master.
But despite all these, the Holy Spirit converted Peter into a humble, dedicated apostle after Jesus’ ascension.
For instance, he became active in preaching Jesus. The church in Antioch was one of those that he ministered to (Acts 11:19-30, ESV).
Probably you know John as a disciple like Peter.
But do you know his family background and occupation?
Who was he personally? How was his life before knowing Jesus?
John was the son of Zebedee and the brother of James (Matthew 10:2-4; Mark 3:16-19, NIV).
Also, he was a fisherman at Capernaum (Oakman, in Deni Rene YouTube Channel, 2017). He worked with Peter, Andrew, and James.
But as you learned earlier, there was a challenge.
That is, these men couldn’t have a share of their catch. The tax collector would only give them processed fish in exchange for the good ones reserved for the rich people.
How was his experience with Jesus?
As Jesus’ disciple, John was very intimate with Jesus.
For instance, he was one of His three closest friends. The other two were Peter and James.
With this, he saw more of Jesus’ activities other disciples didn’t. As you have learned earlier, two of these were the following:
- Jesus’ transfiguration (Luke 9:28-36)
- His prayer at Gethsemane (Matthew 26:36-46)
Also, can you believe that John would even lie on Jesus’ side (John 13:23, ESV)? It was during His last supper with the disciples where he sat beside Him.
Given that, can you say they were the best of friends?
But aside from these, did you know how much Jesus trusted John?
Remember His final moments on the cross? Before He died, He asked John to take care of His mother Mary from then on (John 19:26-27, ESV).
What a privilege!
Now, fast forward to the time after Jesus’ ascension.
John actively preached about Jesus in various places. But his enemies wanted him to stop (Ellen White, The Sanctified 70.3).
They had him tried by the Roman Empire. The emperor challenged him to bathe in burning oil (Wilson, 2020). Also, he had him drink poison (Early Christian Writings, 2021).
Yet, John continued preaching. His opponents couldn’t help but be amazed by his “testimony of power.” He had “great zeal and success” (Ellen White, The Sanctified Life 70.1).
But it didn’t change the emperor’s mind. He had John exiled at the isle of Patmos (Revelation 1:9, ESV).
Can you imagine yourself in this lonely place and situation? Would you survive?
Yet, God did not abandon him. In fact, it became a blessing (Ellen White, The Acts of the Apostles 571.1).
John learned about the “events that would take place in the closing scenes of this earth’s history.”
Peter and John as partners in the ministry
You have learned earlier that Peter and John worked together as fishermen at the Sea of Galilee. In fact, it was their occupation when Jesus called them to follow Him (Luke 5:10, ESV).
But more than that, they had been together in God’s ministry (Seventh-day Bible Commentary vol. 6 152.1).
For instance, they were the ones Jesus sent to prepare for the Passover (Luke 22:8, ESV). In particular, He instructed them to go into a city.
In the city, they were to meet a man who would show them a large upper room. There, Jesus wished to eat with His disciples (Mark 14:12-16, ESV).
Now, let’s go to the story in Acts 8:9-25 (ESV).
Here, a man named Simon was practicing magic in Samaria. He claimed himself as someone great. And true enough, his tricks amazed people that they paid attention to him.
But then, the people heard Philip preach about God. Do you know what? They believed him enough to get baptized. Even the magician himself was converted.
Can you believe that? The Holy Spirit must have been with Philip.
Now, when the apostles knew about this, they sent Peter and John to come over. They prayed for the people to receive the Holy Spirit.
Finally, let’s go to Galatians 2:1-10 (ESV).
Here, Paul and Barnabas consulted the apostles about the gospel they were preaching to the Gentiles. Peter and James accepted them and approved their work.
With all these, what can you say about Peter and John’s tandem? Aside from being partners in the ministry, do you think they were good friends, too?
The lame man
Now, let’s get to know this disabled man.
Unfortunately, the Bible doesn’t give him a name.
But what the Bible says is that he was lame “from birth” (Acts 3:2, ESV). His muscles were not strong enough to let him move freely.
With this, how would you expect him to walk or run?
So, to go from place to place, he needed help from other people. And true enough, people would carry him into the gate of the Temple of Jerusalem every day.
But why there? Why not in other places where he could find proper care?
Well, back then, there were no hospitals (Seventh-day Bible Commentary vol. 6, 153.2). Thus, he must be in a place “where well-disposed folk could see his condition.”
Because of this disability, the lame man couldn’t work, of course. Thus, he had no money. He grew up being a beggar.
With this, he would spend the rest of the day begging for alms from people passing by.
Have you seen someone with this same condition? How did you feel for him? What did you do?
Peter and John Healed a Lame Man: The Story
Where did it happen?
The story happened at the Temple of Jerusalem. In particular, it was near the gate named Beautiful (Acts 3:9, ESV).
And you’re right! This temple was the one Solomon built long ago (1 Kings 6, ESV).
It had a history of several destructions. For instance, the first attempt was by the Babylonians (Jeremiah 39:8, KJV).
Meanwhile, reconstruction began in the time of Ezra and Nehemiah through King Darius. And even during Jesus’ time with the disciples, the rebuilding was still going on.
Here, you can probably remember the moment Jesus saw this temple in Matthew 24 (ESV).
Talking to His disciples, He foretold that the temple would face another destruction. After which, He revealed to them the signs of the end as the Scriptures prophesied.
When did it happen?
It was the ninth hour of prayer in Jerusalem – Jewish reckoning. In our time, we call it 3 PM.
What was Peter and John’s intention?
Peter and John were on their way to the Temple of Jerusalem (Acts 3:1, ESV). They wanted to attend the prayer time and mingle with the Jews and Christians (verses 42-47 of chapter 2).
As you see, they had no intention to do a healing miracle.
What was the lame man’s expectation?
Like Peter and John, the lame man wasn’t expecting a miracle either.
Instead, he was only hoping to get some money from passersby. Of course, he needed it to survive everyday life, especially now that he was past forty (Acts 4:22, ESV).
What did Peter and John offer?
Peter said, “I don’t have any silver or gold” (Acts 3:6, ESV).
Didn’t it sound disappointing?
All his life, the man has been desperate to receive some help. Yet, he heard this unpromising statement. He must have lost hope then.
But Peter continued, “But I do have something to give you.”
What was that? So interesting!
“In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!”
But the lame man didn’t understand it at first. So, Peter “took him by the right hand and raised him up” (Acts 3:7, ESV).
What 10 Amazing Things Happen in the Story?
1. The lame man miraculously strengthened.
As Peter raised the lame man up, his feet and ankles became strong (Acts 3:7, ESV).
Can you believe it?
It was so overwhelming he must have probably thought he was only dreaming. You can even imagine him examining his legs and feet to know what made it all possible.
2. Peter and John healed the man without medicine.
Yes, Peter and John didn’t apply any medical treatment. Neither did they use special tools.
But they were able to let the man walk for the first time in his life. How? All by the power of God (Acts 3:6, ESV).
3. The lame man started believing in God and praised Him for his healing.
As the man began walking, he couldn’t help but leap in so much joy and excitement. Obviously, he was so happy (verse 8).
Later, he entered the temple with Peter and John.
Still, he was leaping and praising God. Of course, he couldn’t contain his happiness like who could?
4. The incident also amazed the crowd enough for them to believe in God.
Have you seen an accident? Let’s say two vehicles bumped into each other.
What would you normally do? You would come near to see, wouldn’t you?
Next thing you know, several other people came in to see what was happening.
True enough, it was what happened when Peter and John healed the lame man.
According to Acts 3:9 (ESV), “all the people saw him walking and praising God.” They “recognized him as the one who sat at the Beautiful Gate of the temple, asking for alms.”
And they were “filled with wonder and amazement” seeing what happened (verse 10).
5. Peter took the opportunity to preach about God’s healing power.
The man was still with Peter and John. Meanwhile, the astonished people ran together to them in the entrance (Acts 3:11, ESV).
With this, Peter addressed the people.
“Men of Israel, why do you wonder at this?” (verse 12). “Why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we have made him walk?”
Here, Peter was giving back all the credit to God for the lame man’s healing.
Remember the old Peter – proud, arrogant, and doubtful. Now, look at how humble he had become.
As the story went on, Peter took the time and opportunity to preach about God (verses 13-16).
That is, he told the people He was the One Whom their ancestors delivered over to Pilate. He was the Author of life, but they denied and killed Him.
Yet, this God was the same God Who healed this lame man.
For this, Peter told the crowd, “we are witnesses” (verse 15).
His name “has made this man strong whom you see and know.” This faith “has given the man this perfect health in the presence of you all.”
6. The angry leaders arrested and jailed Peter and John.
Unfortunately, this incident troubled the priests and the captain of the temple. It even annoyed the Sadducees (Acts 4:1-2, ESV).
They thought that Peter and John were teaching the people about the resurrection from death.
How could they think that? Was that what Peter and John emphasized?
We don’t know about these leaders. But because of that thought, they arrested the two apostles (verse 3). They put them in custody until the next day.
7. The leaders learned from Peter about the Savior’s sacrifice and His desire for Jews to accept Him.
The following day, the rulers, elders, and scribes gathered together in Jerusalem.
With them were members of the high-priestly family (Acts 4:5-6, ESV). They were Annas (the high priest), Caiaphas, John, and Alexander.
They asked Peter, “By what power or by what name did you do this?”
Peter answered, “we are being examined today concerning a good deed done to a crippled man.”
Examined concerning a good deed? Was it fair? Did Peter and John deserve it?
As Peter continued, he rendered the same message he preached at the temple.
That is, he told the leaders who God was (verse 11). “This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the Cornerstone.”
Also, they crucified Him. Yet, God raised Him back to life. And He went back to heaven.
As such, he reminded them that “there is salvation in no one else” (verse 12). “There is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
As you can see, Peter was encouraging them to repent and turn away from sin.
8. They learned that it was Jesus’ power that healed the lame man.
Peter told the leaders that the God Whom their ancestors crucified was the same One Who healed the lame man.
And the man who experienced such healing was now standing before them – healthy.
How would you react if you were one of the leaders? Would you believe what you heard?
Also, would you feel ashamed for accusing Peter and John of a wrong they haven’t done?
9. Peter and John surprised the leaders for making such a good speech despite having no formal education.
The leaders saw how bold Peter and John were despite the trial (Acts 4:13, ESV). They were so firm in testifying about Jesus.
But they perceived the apostles as typical, uneducated men. Yet, they were amazed by everything they preached about.
With this, they recognized that they had been with Jesus.
10. The leaders couldn’t help but set Peter and John free because of their testimony.
Seeing the lame man healed, the leaders couldn’t oppose anything that Peter and John testified about.
Later, the council members conferred with one another (Acts 4:15, ESV).
“What shall we do with these men? A notable sign has been performed through them.” It was “evident to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem.” And “we cannot deny it.”
Yet, the leaders didn’t want Peter and John’s testimony to spread anymore. Hence, they called and charged them never to teach in the name of Jesus.
But Peter and John showed how brave and faithful they were. “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge.”
“For we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.”
But the leaders couldn’t find anything wrong enough to punish them. So, they finally set Peter and John free.
And the people praised God for this.
What Do You Think?
How did you find this article?
Did you enjoy learning the miraculous story of the lame man? Also, what have you learned from Peter and John?
More importantly, what have you realized about Jesus’ healing power? Do you believe He can heal you, too?