Acts 3:1-11, Especially Verse 5

 Our life is full of expectations: expectations about special days, certain events, of ourselves, of others, and even of things!


  1. That the “expectations of the poor and needy shall not always be forgotten” (Psa. 9:18);
  2. That the satisfaction of “expectation is from God” (Psa. 62:5);
  3. That the “hope of the righteous shall be gladness: but the expectation of the wicked shall perish” (Prov. 10:28);
  4. That the people were in expectation concerning the true identify of John the Baptist, “whether he were the Christ or not” (Lk. 3:15);
  5. That Peter was delivered “from the expectations of the people” (Acts 12:11) – the Jews were going to kill Peter;
  6. That the “earnest expectation” of the whole creation is the revelation of its future glory and liberty (Rom. 8:17-21);
  7. That Paul’s “earnest expectation and hope” was “that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death” (Phil. 1:20).
  8. That Christ is presenting expecting the ultimate victory in the War of the Ages when His enemies will “be made His footstool” (Heb. 10:13).

 Some of our expectations are unrealistic and wrapped in a cloak of uncertainty. We express this uncertainty by saying, “We expect to do this or that,” or “We expect to go here or there.” What we really are saying is, “Maybe we will or maybe we won’t do this for go there.” This is as it should be. The Bible reminds us that we ought to say, “If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that” because of the uncertainty of life; “whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away” (Jas. 4:14-15).

 There are certain expectations, however, that are certain to come to pass. These, we know, are related to what we call the facts of life or the laws of nature. In the Spiritual realm, living with eternity’s values in view. The believer discovers a new realm of certainty about his expectations. He learns a new definition to the word “hope.” Hope, as God uses it, means that we can look down the corridor of time and face eternity with the confident expectation of future good! (See Rom. 5:3-5; 8:20-25; Titus 1:2).

 In the study of this text, we call attention to three things: (1) Three representative groups of people; (2) Three important contrasts; and (3) Five legitimate expectations.


Here we have the Apostles Peter and John, the Temple crowd, and one poor, crippled man brought together for a fantastic, thought-provoking drama.

 The Apostles Peter and John were the leaders: the instructors of those around Jerusalem and the Temple. They had already instructed many on the Day of Pentecost and they will soon have another opportunity to teach concerning the “wonderful works of God” (Acts 2:11, 40; 3:12; 4:19-20, 33; 5:11-13). There is a very definite parallel between the role and ministry of Peter and John to our Christian leaders and instructors, pastors, teachers, evangelists, educators, missionaries, Christian workers, and administrators. Yes, our BDTLB Board and staff stand as their modern-day representatives.

 The Temple crowd was a melting pot: a cross-section of people from Israel and the world (Acts 2:8-12).  They are much like people today, who, when confronted with the realities of God’s Word and His wonderful grace, will be amazed and believe, and some will doubt, and some will mock, and some will persecute those who believe (Acts 2:12-13; 4:2-3).  And, we will have the same reactions from the crowd to whom we minister.

 The poor cripple is a picture of national Israel, who were close to the Temple but still outside and lost. The cripple of Israel could not walk before God. There are many today who are lost and cannot walk before God and are desperately needing, yea, expecting Spiritual help!

 There are many more, though not crippled and lost, who are, nevertheless, infants and do not know how to walk before God; then there are some weak ones who are wobbling along on immature knees. This is our ministry at BDTLB. Here is the opportunity for “Peter and John Staff” to take our converts and instruct them in walking and growing in the “Grace Message” and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.


FIRST, the contrast between the beautiful gate and the crippled beggar. On the one hand, there was the Beautiful Gate of the temple; it was made of Corinthians Brass with a cost of thousands of dollars; it was a tourist attraction. On the other hand, there was a 40-year-old beggar: a type of sinner, and a man in need of help. Here at BDTLB, it is a new believer, a youth, a student anxious to grow, to walk, to serve.

 Some people, like Peter and John, will see the crippled beggar, but most will only see the churches, buildings, steeples, ritual ceremony, and programs. Here at BDTLB, our buildings and programs are important but may we never fail to see people: people in need.

 SECONDLY, the contrast between an imaginary need and the real need is a contrast between gold and God. The crippled beggar thought he needed gold to be happy, but what he really needed was God. No doubt, there are many who think they can’t be happy without materialistic things. What people really need is God!

 THIRDLY, is the contrast between the powerless religion and the power of God. The religion of Israel was powerless. They had a “form of godliness, but denied the power thereof” (2 Tim. 3:5). The bearded Rabbis and the leaders of Israel, no doubt, passed by countless times, but not one ever cared enough or had the power of God to heal him, save him, or help him. Peter and John may not have had very much of this world’s goods. They said: “Silver and gold have I none,” but praise God, they had the power of God.


I believe that just as the crippled beggar “expected to receive something from Peter and John,” so I believe that our BDTLB contacts have a right to expect certain things of our BDTLB Staff, such as:

  1. Unity: “They went up together” (vs. 1). We have an individual and a corporate responsibility to the Lord, each other, and our students. Our service to the Lord is not a one-man show (Rom. 12). We are to be one in nature, desires, and goals. The world of Spiritual cripples takes notice when God’s people are “striving together for the faith of the Gospel” (Phil. 1:27).
  2. Faithful: “At the hour of prayer” (vs. 1). They were doing what they ought to have been doing, when they should have been doing it. David’s sin with Bathsheba would have been prevented had he been faithful doing what he should have been doing at the appointed hour. He was home on furlough when it was the appointed time when “kings go forth to battle” (2 Sam. 11:1-2). The believer is to be “faithful in season and out of season” (2 Tim. 4:2).
  3. Love: “fastened his eyes,” “Look on us,” (vs. 4). This crippled man was a pathetic, sad sight. Peter and John’s hearts were stirred. They took time to care, to love. The Spiritually crippled world is looking for someone to care. The are “expecting to receive something” from believers. They are like the crippled man at the Pool of Bethsaida who cried, ”Sir I have no man.” Or, the Ethiopian Eunuch who pleads, “How can I except some man should guide me?”
  4. Giving: “Such as I have I give thee” (vs. 6). The Christian way of life is not to be lived in such a way as to enrich ourselves. It is a way of grace: a way of giving: a way of sacrifice. The challenge is to let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 2:5). May ours be a mind of love and sacrifice.
  5. Power of God: “Lifted him up” (vs. 7). We have had enough of the “letter of the Law.” Enough hair-splitting theology in our churches. This cripple did not need riches; he needed the power of God. It was the power of God through the lives of Spirit-filled Peter and John that enabled this man to stand, walk and enter in, “leaping and praising God.”