Holy Bible on black wooden bench

THE STORY OF THE MAN AT THE BEAUTIFUL GATE

Soon after Jesus was taken up into heaven, his disciples began to
preach, as he had told them to do. They stood up in the streets, and in
the Temple, and spoke to the people all the words that Jesus had given
to them. And although they could no longer see Jesus, he was with them,
and helped them, and gave them great power.

The two apostles, Peter and John, were one day going up to the temple at
the afternoon hour of prayer, about three o’clock. They walked across
the court of the Gentiles, which was a large, open square paved with
marble, having on its eastern side a double row of pillars with a roof
above them, called Solomon’s Porch. In front of this porch was the
principal entrance to the Temple, through a gate which was called “The
Beautiful Gate.” In front of this gate they saw a lame man sitting. He
was one who in all his life had never been able to walk; and as he was
very poor, his friends carried him every day to this place; and there he
sat, hoping that some of those who went into the Temple might take pity
on him, and give him a little money.

In front of this man Peter and John stopped; and Peter said: “Look at
us!”

The lame man looked earnestly on the two apostles, thinking they were
about to give him something. But Peter said:

“Silver and gold have I none; but what I have that I will give you. In
the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk!”

And Peter took hold of the lame man’s right hand, and raised him up. At
once the lame man felt a new power entering into his feet and
ankle-bones. He leaped up, and stood upon his feet, and began to walk,
as he had never done before in all his life. He walked up the steps with
the two apostles, and went by their side into the Temple, walking, and
leaping, and praising God. The people who now saw him leaping up and
running knew him, for they had seen him every day sitting as a beggar at
the Beautiful Gate: and every one was filled with wonder at the change
which had come over him.

After worshipping and praising God in the Temple, the man, still holding
fast to Peter and John, went out with them through the Beautiful Gate,
into Solomon’s Porch. And in a very few minutes a great crowd of people
were drawn together to the place to see the man who had been made well,
and to see also the two men who had healed him.

Then Peter stood up before the throng of people, and spoke to them:

“Ye men of Israel,” he said, “why do you look wondering on this man? or
why do you fix your eyes upon us, as though by our own power or goodness
we had made this man to walk? The God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of
Jacob, has in this way shown the power and the glory of his Son Jesus,
whom you gave up to his enemies, and whom you refused before Pontius
Pilate, when Pilate was determined to set him free. But you refused the
Holy One and the Righteous One, and chose a murderer, Barabbas, to be
set free in his place; and you killed the Prince of Life, whom God
raised from the dead. We who have seen him risen, declare that this is
true. And the power of Jesus, through faith in his name, has made this
man strong. Yes, it is faith in Christ that has given him this perfect
soundness before you all. Now, my brothers, I am sure that you did not
know that it was the Son of God and your own Saviour whom you sent to
the cross. Therefore turn to God in sorrow for this great sin, and God
will forgive you, and in his own time he will send again Jesus Christ.
God, who has raised up his Son, is ready to bless you, and turn away
every one of you from his sins.”

While Peter was speaking, the priests, and the captain of the Temple,
and the rulers, came upon them; for they were angry as they heard Peter
speak these words. They laid hold of Peter and John, and put them into
the guardroom for the night. But many of those who had heard Peter
speaking believed on Jesus, and sought the Lord; and the number of the
followers of Christ rose from three thousand to five thousand.

On the next day the rulers came together; and Annas and Caiphas, the
high priests, were there, and with them many of their friends. They
brought Peter and John, and set them before the company. The lame man
who had been healed was still by the side of the two apostles. The
rulers asked them:

“By what power, or through whom have you done this?”

Then Peter spoke boldly:

“Ye rulers of the people and elders, if you are asking us about the good
deed done to this man who was so helpless, how it was that he was made
well, I will tell you that by the name of Jesus of Nazareth whom you put
to death on the cross, whom God raised from the dead; even by him this
man stands here before you all strong and well. And there is no
salvation except through Jesus Christ, for there is no other name under
heaven given among men that can save us from our sins.”

When these rulers saw how bold and strong were the words of Peter and
John, they wondered, especially as they knew that they were plain men,
not learned in books, and not used to speaking. They remembered that
they had seen these men among the followers of Jesus, and they felt that
in some way Jesus had given them his power. And as the man who had been
healed was standing beside them, they could say nothing to deny that a
wonderful work had been done.

The rulers sent Peter and John out of the council-room, while they
talked together. They said to each other:

“What shall we do to these men? We cannot deny that a wonderful work has
been done by them, for every one knows it. But we must stop this from
spreading any more among the people. Let us command them not to speak to
any man about the name of Jesus; and let us tell them, that if they do
speak, we will punish them.”

So they called the two apostles into the room again, and said to them:
“We forbid you to speak about Jesus, and the power of his name, to any
man. If you do not stop talking about Jesus, we will lay hands on you,
and put you in prison, and will have you beaten.”

But Peter and John answered the rulers: “Whether it is right to obey
you or to obey God, you can judge. As for ourselves we cannot keep
silent; we must speak of what we have seen and heard.”

The rulers were afraid to do any harm to Peter and John, because they
knew that the people praised God for the good work that they had done;
and they would be angry to have harm come to them. For fear of the
people, they let them go. And being let go, they went to their own
friends, the company who met in the upper room, and there they gave
thanks to God for helping them to speak his word without fear.

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