Friday, August 14, 2015

Reading 38: Peter Heals

Acts 3:1-11

Peter and John are on their way to their usual practice of attending the temple for prayer. Though they were Christians, Christ followers, they were still Jewish. Christians was a term not even created yet. Jesus was the fulfillment of the Jewish Prophecies of a Messiah and so it was still the Jewish religion. They continued going to Synagogue for services but did so knowing the teaching was fulfilled in Jesus.

They approached the Beautiful Gate which was the entrance into the Temple. In the Old Testament any animals sacrificed had to be without blemish (Leviticus 22:21) and priests who went into the presence of God also had to be without blemish. By this time the rule was expanded in a way it was never meant to be and now any person with a disability or disease could not even enter the Temple. Beggars would hang around the gate looking for change from the passerbys as they could not enter into the Temple.

As Peter and John walk by a man crippled lies on the ground asking for change. Peter and John look at the man intently, perhaps thinking what the Rabbi Jesus would do in this situation. Full of confidence brought about by the Spirit Peter does what Jesus would do and commands the man to get up and walk. Peter says so with full faith that the man will be healed and the man is healed. Healing of the people would continue even with Jesus ascended to Heaven because God is still with mankind through His Spirit.

The beggar rejoices and enters into the Temple with Peter and John, something he couldn't do since he was crippled or perhaps ever could do. They enter Solomon's Colonnade which is the first section of the Temple. This contained the Court of Women. The Women could enter into this court but go no farther. The next section was the Court of Israel where all Jewish Men could gather. Next we have the Holy Place where only priests can enter and finally the Most Holy Place where God resided. Only the High Priest once a year could enter that area. So in Solomon's Colonnade everyone was able to witness the miracle that Peter performed and praise God together. No separation made between Men and Women, Priest and non-Priests.

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