Inevitably the healing of the lame beggar caused a huge crowd to gather. Solomon’s Porch, on the east side of the Temple, was a corridor where Jesus himself had taught (John 10:23) and also where the Church worshipped – (Acts 5:12). When Peter had preached his “Sermon” at Pentecost, he had to refute that the believers were drunk. In this “Sermon” he had to refute the idea that he and John had healed the crippled man by their own power, and Peter identified the source of the miracle – Jesus Christ, the Son of God! Very wisely, Peter told the crowd that the power they used only came from the God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Furthermore, Peter bravely reminded the Jews how they had treated Jesus – denying Him and giving Him to the authorities to be crucified – in fact he told them they had killed their own Messiah! In effect Peter had turned the Temple into a Courtroom and laid out all the evidence for everybody to see. Many questions must have been in the minds of the people – “How could two ordinary fisherman perform such a great miracle, unless God was with them?” Nobody could deny that the beggar was healed as he stood before the crowd, and the miracle was only through faith in the name of Jesus! (3:16).
As the Sadducees denied the possibility of the resurrection, it is not surprising that they joined with the Temple Guard and Captain of the Temple to arrest Peter and John while they were still speaking to the people. Although it was evening time, they were locked up until the next day. However, many people had heard and seen the events of the previous day and “many who heard the message believed” – about 5,000!
The next day the Holy Spirit again enabled Peter to preach before the rulers and elders, and we read that they could not say or accuse them of anything, for the healed man was evidence of “an act of kindness!” Although cautioned about preaching Peter and John returned to their believing community, where they praised and thanked God – “And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.”
Dear Father God, Thank you for the amazing faith, courage and example of the early disciples. We thank you for their strength and perseverance in very difficult and frightening times. They often spoke about knowing Jesus and demonstrated how we all should show your love and grace with whoever we meet. Please help me to trust you more and to give me more boldness in speaking to others. For the sake of Jesus, Amen.