Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour.…
If there be history in any writing, these verses in their simplicity and minute details are a history. There is nothing here approaching the parabolic or the mythical. See here —
I. POOR MEN BECOMING THE ORGANS OF OMNIPOTENCE. How often has this been the case. Moses, Elijah, and the apostles are examples.
II. A WRETCHED CRIPPLE MADE THE OCCASION OF GREAT GOOD. Thoughtful men have often asked, Why, under the government of a benevolent God, such cases should occur? Why men be sent into the world without the use of their limbs, eyes, or reason? But note —
1. That those who come into the world in this state, being unconscious of physical perfection, feel not their condition as others. Men who have never seen know nothing of the blessedness of vision. Hence persons of constitutional defect in form or organ often display a joy or peace at which others wonder.
2. That such cases serve by contrast to reveal the wonderful goodness of God. In nature those parts that have been shattered by earthquakes, or lie in black desolation, serve to set off the beauty and order which generally reign. And so a cripple here, or a blind man there, only set off the goodness of God as displayed in the millions that are perfect. These are a few dark strokes which the Great Artist employs to set off in the picture of the world the more striking aspects of beauty; a few of the rougher notes which the Great Musician uses to swell the chorus of universal order.
3. That they serve to inspire the physically perfect with gratitude to heaven. In the poor idiot, God says to us, "Be thankful for reason," etc.
4. That they afford scope and stimulus for the exercise of benevolence. Were all men equal in every respect there would be no object to awaken charity.
III. CHRISTIANITY TRANSCENDING HUMAN ASPIRATIONS. This man wanted alms, "silver and gold"; but in the name of Christ he received physical power, a blessing he had never ventured to expect. Thus it is ever: Christianity gives man " more than he can ask or think." "Eye hath not seen," etc.
(D. Thomas, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour.