There was much excitement on the Day of Pentecost and the following weeks and months. Acts 2:41-47 is a summary of that period. We could spend much time on each verse. For example, how did the apostles baptize all of the “about 3,000 souls” that were added to the church on the Day of Pentecost?

I’ve already discussed the four points of growth in the Christian life as given in verse 42: “The proof of reality is in continuance” (William MacDonald). Let us now look at verse 43: “And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles.” The apostles did the wonders and signs; they had “power from on high” (Acts 1:8) and they exercised that power (see also Acts 5:12, 19:11).

walking the stairs to worshipThen in chapter 3 Luke was inspired to record just one of these miracles, and continued with its aftermath at least to the end of chapter 5. Why this one miracle out of the many of Acts 2:43? It is probably because there are lessons to be learnt from this particular record. “Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour [3 p.m.]“ (3:1).

Peter and John were of the Jewish faith and they continued to attend the hours of prayers at the temple when they were in Jerusalem: 9 a.m., noon and 3 p.m. (“continually,” Luke 24:53). We sometimes forget that the Day of Pentecost was a Jewish religious festival and the outpouring of God’s power initially was only on Jewish followers of Jesus. The first non-Jewish Pentecost happened later in the book of Acts.

I really want to get to verse 6 but I would be doing you a disservice if I omitted the clear teaching of these earlier verses. No doubt Peter and John talked as they went along and because they had trod this path many times they would not have to concentrate very much on what they were seeing. This walk could be called one of the “humdrum” activities of the day, a normal occurrence.

“And a man lame from birth was being carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple that is called the Beautiful Gate to ask alms of those entering the temple. Seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked to receive alms” (Acts 3:2-3). We can assume from this record that the lame man had been sitting at the Beautiful Gate for some years and Peter and John had walked past him many times. And yet, in this normal, everyday situation, on this particular day guidance is given to Peter to tell the lame man to look at them both. “And Peter directed his gaze at him, as did John, and said, ‘Look at us.'” (verse 4).  Read More 

Acts 2:42 is a summary statement of the first few weeks of the aftermath of Pentecost. “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers” (KJV). I now move on to the fourth item, prayers. This can be understood in two ways, as some translations use the term “and the prayers,” that is, ritualistic or commonly repeated prayers.

Keep prayingFirst, we can take it as it reads in the KJV. There is no question that the original twelve disciples knew what it meant to pray. Take, for example, the passage where they asked Jesus, “Lord, teach us to pray” (Luke 11:1). He immediately answered, “When you pray, say…” and gave them what the Church calls the Lord’s Prayer but is better called the Disciples’ Prayer.

In the same chapter Luke records the promise of prayer, “And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened” (verse 9,10). What comfort this triple assurance of answered prayer gives us!  Read More