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One day Peter and John were going up to the temple. A man who hadn’t been able to walk for his whole life was being carried to the gate named Beautiful Gate. He was put there every day to beg from the people going in. When he saw Peter and John, he asked them for money.
Peter said, “I don’t have any silver or gold, but I’ll give you what I do have. In the name of Jesus of Nazareth, get up and walk.”
Then Peter took him by the hand to help him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. He jumped to his feet and began to walk.
As Peter and John kept on walking into the temple courts, the man walked with them. But he wasn’t just walking. He was jumping and leaping and praising God. “Yeeeee-haaaaa! I can walk!”
When all the people saw him walking and jumping and praising God, they recognized him. “He’s that guy who’s always begged at Beautiful Gate.” And they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.
The man held on to Peter and John, while all the astonished people came running up to them in the place named Solomon’s Porch.
Peter said to them, “Why are you surprised? You’re looking at us like our own power or godliness made this man walk. Nooo… that ain’t what happened. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified His servant Jesus. You handed Him over to be killed. So you killed the author of life. But God raised Him up from the dead. We are witnesses of this. We saw it ourselves, and we’re telling you it’s true.
“By faith in the name of Jesus, this dancing man who you see and know has been made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through Him that has completely healed this man, as you can see for yourselves.
“I know, I know… you acted in ignorance, and so did your leaders. You didn’t know what you were doing. But this is how God fulfilled what He said through all the prophets long ago: He showed them that His Messiah would suffer.
“So repent, turn to God, so that your sins may be erased — wiped out — so that times of spiritual rest and a fresh strength may come from the Lord.”
Some of the religious leaders came up to Peter and John while they were speaking to the people. It really bothered them that the apostles were saying that Jesus was risen from the dead. So they grabbed hold of Peter and John and put them in jail.
But many who heard the Good News believed, so the number of people who believed grew and grew — to way over 5,000.
The next day the religious rulers brought in Peter and John from the jail, and questioned them. “By what power and name did you do these things?”
Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers and elders of the people! If we’re in trouble and being questioned just for an act of kindness shown to a helpless man, then it is high time that you and everyone else know this: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you killed, but whom God raised from the dead, that this man is standing here healed.
“Jesus is ‘the stone you builders rejected, and now He’s the cornerstone.’
“Salvation is found in no one else. There is no other name that will save us.”
The religious leaders were astonished when they saw the courage of Peter and John because they realized that those guys were not “schooled.” And they were just normal guys! Ordinary. The religious leaders couldn’t help but notice that the only “special” thing about these guys was that they had been with Jesus.
What could the leaders say? They all KNEW the helpless, lame guy who had always sat by Beautiful Gate. And they could see with their own eyes that the guy was now healed. He was standing right there. And he was over 40 years old! What could they say? Nothing…
So they ordered, “Oh, just get them out of here!”
Then they asked each other, “What are we going to do? Everyone living in Jerusalem knows the guy, and he’s healed, and we can’t say he’s not. But we have to stop them from spreading this news about Jesus any further. We must tell them to STOP talking about Jesus.”
So they called Peter and John back in and commanded them, “Do not say anything else at all about Jesus. That’s an order.”
But Peter and John replied, “Seriously? Answer this question. Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you, or to God? You can answer that question for yourselves. As for us, we won’t keep quiet about what we have seen and heard.”
Peter and John weren’t the only ones who had seen and heard now were they? Those religious guys admitted that they KNEW that the lame beggar was healed. They had seen it for themselves. But, they would not be a witness because their hearts were hard. They didn’t want it to be true. They didn’t want to See, so they kept being blind.
Those religious, phony leaders couldn’t decide how to punish Peter and John — because all the people were praising God for what had happened. So after more threats and mean words, they let Peter and John go.