Peter and John went up together to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. Acts 2:1
There are several interesting thoughts in this simple verse.
Although generally described as 3.00 pm, the ninth hour lasted from 3.00pm till sunset – see http://www.homeworship101.com/holy_days_timekeeping&calendar.htm
The apostles were still attending the temple. In fact, according the research I did for the Apostle John series of books, it was the Jews who made it impossible for Christians to attend their synagogues. The Birkat HaMinim (Blessing on the heretic) was more like a ‘curse’.
For the apostates let there be no hope. And let the arrogant government be speedily uprooted in our days. Let the noẓerim and the minim be destroyed in a moment. And let them be blotted out of the Book of Life and not be inscribed together with the righteous. Blessed art thou, O Lord, who humblest the arrogant” (Schechter). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birkat_haMinim
At this time, before the Birkat HaMinim ,shortly after the birth of the church, Peter and John were attending the evening sacrifice at the temple in Jerusalem.
And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms from those who entered the temple.; Acts 3: 2
He was taken there daily, so he was well-known. Unlike the man born blind whom Jesus healed, no one would be able to dispute either the identity of the man, or his healing.
who, seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked for alms.
And fixing his eyes upon him, with John, Peter said, “Look at us.” So he gave them his attention, expecting to receive something. Acts 3: 4, 5
For your consideration…
The beggar knew no other way of life. His only income was from begging. He was asking for money, not healing. Besides, there is no indication that the beggar even knew who Peter and John were.
The beggar held out his hand, perhaps in hopeful expectation, seeking alms from the pair who stopped and looked at him.
Peter fixed his eyes on him… was he looking to see if the man wanted any other life?
Did the beggar’s heart sink when Peter started to speak…?
Silver and gold, I do not have…Acts 3: 6
Did his eyes move to the next person in the crowd?
It seems not. The way things worked out, it appears he did want more from life than sitting, begging, at the gate of the temple.
…In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk. Acts 3: 6
So he, leaping up, stood and walked and entered the temple with them… walking and leaping and praising God. Acts 3: 8
It is often safer to stay with what we know than to risk stepping out in faith. Doubt might creep in… and faith is sabotaged.
Life is a succession of trials, faith and trust. Our task is not to be derailed as we walk the walk.
Tread softly, lest you tread on someone’s dreams