We do not know how much time has passed between 2:47 and 3:1. But we do know that the lives of those Jews in the New Covenant Church remained basically the same relative to their obedience to God. In 3:1 we find two Christian leaders entering the Jews Temple at the Jews time of prayer to pray to the Jew’s God. It was a custom among the Jews to pray three times each day–9,12,3–and to do so in the Temple if possible. The Jewish Christians also continued to study and follow the teachings found in the Tora and the writings of the Old Testament prophets. Contrary to popular opinion, only a few things changed for Jews who became Christians, foremost among which were their recognition of Jesus of Nazareth as their Messiah and the removal of the law of Moses (blood sacrifice, ritual washings, etc.) from their daily lives. Future study will reveal that converted Gentiles worshipped in the same way, obeyed the same doctrines and lived in the same manner as did their fellow Jewish believers.
Chapter three verses one through eight : In verse 1 we find Peter and John going into the Temple at 3:00 in the afternoon–the “9th hour”–along with many other Jews. At this point the Jewish leaders had not solidified their opposition to the church. This enabled the disciples to conduct business as usual. This would soon change as the church began to rapidly grow in size and popularity.
Here we find the two apostles about to enter the Temple area through the “Beautiful Gate.” This gate was so called because it was made of brass and was 31×62 feet in size according to ancient historians. As was his custom, a crippled man was placed at the gate so as to ask alms of those entering the Temple to pray. It was customary to take money to the Temple in order to make offerings and to help the poor and afflicted waiting outside. Some helped them out of altruistic reasons while others made a public display out of their generosity in order to appear holy in the eyes of others. As Jesus said, “They have their (only) reward” (fame) then and there. It is important to realize that Peter and John were so poor that they had nothing to give, neither as an offering nor as a gift to the crippled man (vs 6). This would explain why the church shared their possessions with each other as noted in chapter 2. This would also explain why Jesus had to send Peter to catch a fish which had a piece of money in its mouth to pay the Temple tax for them. But we must assume that there were some financially able people among the new converts who had the means to help the poor among them.
In verses 3 through 8 we read about one of the most well-known episodes found in the Bible. The crippled man was expecting a piece of money. Instead he was used by the Lord to open the eyes of thousands of Jews as to Whom they had rejected and crucified. Note in verse 7 that the man’s healing took place “immediately,” which is the way God heals when true faith is involved. The word “immediately” in reference to God’s healing of people is found 7 times in the Book of Acts and 20 other times in the rest of the New Testament. Note in verse 8 that Peter and John did not hang around outside the Temple, but immediately entered it’s confines with the healed man in tow, “walking and leaping and praising God.” An open-minded study of the New Testament reveals that the church continued to observe most of the Jewish doctrines (7th day Sabbath, the Holy Days, etc.) until the deaths of the apostles. It was only upon their deaths and the rise of what would become known as Catholicism that the apostasy took hold in earnest. The rest is church history. But not all of the church embraced Satan. GOD HAS ALWAYS HAD A REMNANT–HIS “LITTLE FLOCK,” HIS “VERY ELECT”–WHO BELIEVE AND OBEY HIM. L.J.