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Give Them Jesus! (4 of 14)
Acts 3:1-10 (Focal verse, 6)
Acts 3:1-10 gives us a glimpse into the life of the early church. In the infancy of the church they were still attending the temple for the set times of prayers that they had grown up with (v.1). The Jews observed three special times for prayer each day, coinciding with the morning and evening sacrifices, 9 a.m., 12 Noon, and 3 p.m. On this particular occasion Peter and John had come to the temple for the 3:00 p.m prayer time.
Since there was a complete lack of social services, it was fairly common for people in need to seek help at the temple, the place of worship. People on their way to worship would be more inclined to help someone in need, especially since the giving of alms was considered a meritorious act by the Jews. On this particular day there was a man at the gate of the temple who had been crippled since birth (v.2). He was carried to the temple gate called "Beautiful" where he would beg each day from those who were coming and going from the temple. The "Beautiful" gate was also called the "Nicanor Gate," named in honor of a miraculous event in which the gate being transported to Jerusalem and a man who worked to save it were preserved from a severe storm. This gate led from the outer court of the Court of the Gentiles to the first of the inner courts of the Court of the Women.
"When he saw Peter and John about to enter" (v.3), the man asked them for money. The man probably expected one of two things to happen. One, that they would be sympathetic to his need and give him some money. The other response would have been to be blown off or ignored. Of course being at the temple, the man assumed there would not be too many people like the priest and the Levite of the Good Samaritan story who walked on the other side of the street to avoid having to help him.
But what happened was unusual, it was out of the ordinary. I say unusual because Peter and John did not giv ...
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