Healing of the Lame

Title: Healing of the Lame

Bible Book: Acts 3 : 1-11

Author: William R. Shively

Subject: God, Might Power of; Healing; Miracles; Salvation



This is the first miracle performed by the Apostles as recorded in the book of Acts. It took place after Pentecost. This miracle of healing was completely different from the claims of faith healers today. The focus was on Jesus and not upon men. There was no denying that a miracle had been performed. Luke, the Physician, wrote the book of Acts. Who would have been better to write concerning this powerful miracle of healing than a doctor? The lame man's healing could only be acknowledged as the mighty work of God.


This forty-year-old man had been crippled from birth. He was lame in his feet and ankles. Every day he had to depend upon others to carry him to the gate of the temple. The gate was called Beautiful. He would spend his day begging for money. The crippled man had to depend upon the generosity of others to survive.


1. Request of the man. (v. 3) "asked an alms"

Peter and John were on their way to the temple to pray. As the crippled man saw them about to enter into the temple, he asked them for money. All he wanted from Peter and John were a few coins. The crippled man could look no further than his immediate physical need. He was blinded to his spiritual need.

Two boys were fighting on the school ground. One of the other children ran for help. He said to the teacher, "Teacher, teacher, two boys are fighting, and the one on the bottom would like to see you."

When you are the one on the bottom, you would like to see some help coming your way.

There are lost and hurting people all around us. They are looking to us for help. While we are to help people with their physical and financial needs, the greatest gift we can give them is the gospel of Jesus Christ.

2. Response of the apostles. (v. 6) "Look on us"

On hearing the man's request, Peter and John told the man, "Look on us." The crippled man was expecting to receive an alms from the apostles.

It must have been discouraging for the cripple to hear Peter say, "Silver and gold have I none." He may have needed money to buy some food or some other necessity.

Peter's words "such as I have, give I thee" must have caught the cripple off guard. What would Peter give this man if it wasn't money? Peter and John had something far greater to offer the poor man.

Peter said to the lame man, "In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk."

"In the name of" means by virtue of Christ's character, authority, and power.

Peter and John had witnessed firsthand the power of Jesus to heal. They had the credentials as apostles to do signs and miracles.

"Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds." (2 Cor. 12:12)

They had been given authority from Jesus to heal the sick. They had received the gifts of healing and miracles from the Holy Spirit. (Luke 9:1; 1 Cor. 12:9-10)

The Holy Spirit gave Peter the assurance at that moment to believe Jesus would heal this man. This is a supernatural ability to trust God in a particular circumstance. This was the gift of faith given by the Holy Spirit. (1 Cor. 12:9)

3. Result of the miracle. (v. 7-8)

a. Lame man walking. "leaping up, stood and walked"

In a flash, Peter took the man by the hand and lifted him up. The man was immediately made whole. His bones received strength. The lame man had never stood on his feet before this miracle. Now he was leaping and walking.

b. Lame man worshipping. (v. 8, 9) "praising God"

The lame man went in the temple with Peter and John and he was praising God. He had asked for alms and God had given him healthy legs. Thanksgiving and praise flowed from the lips of this crippled man. There was no silencing him for he was full of the joy of the Lord. Worship was a natural response from a man who had been touched by God.

c. Lame man's witness. (v. 9)

This man's life was changed. People who knew him as a lame beggar were now seeing him walking and praising God. God used this miracle to be a means of getting the greater message of salvation to the people. Peter began to preach to the people the resurrection of Christ and the people's need to repent and receive Jesus as their savior.

The priests, captain of the temple, and the Sadducees were grieved that Peter and John taught the people and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead. (4:1-2)

"Howbeit many of them which heard the word believed; and the number of the men was about five thousand." (Acts 4:4)

The apostles prayed to have boldness to speak the Word of God. The Lord granted their request. (4:29-31)

"And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all." (Acts 4:33)

4. Reaction of the people. (v. 9-11)"filled with wonder and amazement"

The people knew that a great miracle had occurred. A man crippled from birth was now leaping and praising God. The people were "filled with wonder and amazement." The word amazement is associated with "terror, to render immovable." The people were left speechless.

The people had seen something strange that day. They had witnessed the supernatural work of God.

The Bible described the people's reaction as "wonder and amazement" and "greatly wondering."

The healings claimed today are done by calling people out of a crowd to be healed. These healing services are often times broadcast on television. Those acts of healing cannot be confirmed. This man was seen by the people walking and praising God. They all knew this man, and they all knew that he had been healed.



Jesus, who had been crucified, was alive and was continuing His work through His apostles. The man stood in front of the religious leaders and the people completely healed. Jesus had performed another miracle, but this time, He worked through Peter and John.

1. Power in His name to heal. (3:6; 4:10)

In Acts 3:6, Peter invoked the name of Jesus for the healing of this crippled man. Jesus had the power and authority to heal.

Peter knew he had no power of his own to heal this man. (3:12) The apostles gave all the glory and praise to Jesus. (3:16; 4:10)

Healing in the name of Jesus called for faith on the part of the lame man. Peter commanded him to walk, but the lame man could walk only if he placed his faith in Jesus. Faith comes before the blessings.

2. Power in His name to save. (3:16, 4:12)

The greatest gift a person can receive is salvation. Salvation comes from Jesus. This is the meaning of the name of Jesus. To call upon His name is to have faith in Him. (Acts 3:16) Jesus has the power to save all who call upon Him in repentance and faith. (Heb. 7:25)

The healing of the lame man is a picture of a sinner getting saved. The sinner is helpless and he is hopelessly lost. He has no way to save himself. Salvation is nothing less than God imparting life to a person who was dead in sin. He becomes a new creature in Christ. (2 Cor. 5:17) Salvation is a far greater miracle than the healing of lame legs.


The religious leaders could not deny the crippled man was healed. They acknowledged that this man had been miraculously healed. A miracle had been performed in their midst.

After this miracle of healing, the religious leaders never again denied the resurrection of Christ. They did all they could to silence the apostles, (4:18) but the apostles continued to preach and teach the resurrection of Christ.

"And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all." (Acts 4:33)


God still works His miracles today. The greatest gift and miracle a person can receive is Jesus Christ as his/her Savior. Ask yourself these three question: Have I repented and received Jesus as my Savior? Does my joy reflect what the Lord has done in saving my soul? Do I look for opportunities to share with the lost the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ?


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