[This post was written by Adam Renberg, one of my “Advanced Studies in Acts” students. They are helping teach my undergrad Acts class a few times this semester, so I thought I would give them “guest blogger” status.]
In Acts 14:8-10, we see the first recorded miracle of Paul’s ministry as he heals a paralytic. This man, who was crippled from birth, was healed after he listened to Paul speak (presumably a sermon). Paul then calls to him to stand up, where he jumps up and starts to walk. While this is an astounding miracle, this type of miracle does not seem to be unique to Paul and his ministry. One very similar miracle account, recorded by Luke, can be found in Acts 3:1-10.
In this pericope, Peter and John are at the temple gate and heal a man who was also lame from birth. The similarities are as follow: Both start with a cripple, lame from birth (3:2, 14:8); Both Apostles stare at the cripples (3:4, 14:9); Both Cripples leapt up (3:6, 14:9). Many commentators see the parallels of these two passages as intentional comparisons by Luke to make a statement about the authority and ministry of Paul and Peter.
While the comparisons are obvious, there are also some large differences. In Peter’s case, he performs the miracle in Jerusalem on a Jewish man, preaching to a Jewish audience (they would not let Gentiles into the temple gates). In Acts 14, the cripple and audience are completely Gentile at this point. In Acts 3, the healed man praises God, while the man in Acts 14 doesn’t have any recorded praise. Lastly, Paul doesn’t use the name of Jesus during his miracle, although he more than likely used it when talking to the paralytic before his healing.
Comparisons are often made between Peter and Paul for this account, but this type of miracle found its roots in Jesus. In Luke 5:17-26, we find another healing of a lame man. In this case, the man’s friends bring him to Jesus by lowering him into the house, where Jesus forgives his sins and tells him to “get up and walk.” While there are more similarities and differences in this passage, one of the most important phrases used is “when Jesus saw their faith,” where Jesus heals them because of their faith. This phrase, and its variations (such as, “your faith has made you well”) is very Lukan, not unlike Matthew’s use of “Kingdom of Heaven.”
With this in mind, what was Luke’s purpose in recording Paul’s miracle in Acts 14? If Luke intentionally compared it to Peter’s miracle in Acts 3, it would seem that Luke is trying to compare Peter and Paul’s ministry to present validity and purpose to both of their missions. As it is the first recorded miracle of both Peter and Paul, one could argue that Luke was demonstrating that God ordained each of these men’s ministries. But as Peter’s miracle and sermon were successful in this passage, Paul’s seems to be a “failure” with little to no converts, and a stoning.
One the other hand, is it possible that Luke (in Luke 5) was alluding to Jesus when he uses the miracle account in Acts 14 to echo Jesus’ voice? Like Paul, Jesus was met with amazement, but also opposition from the Pharisees… the same party who more than likely sent the Jews to Lystra to stone Paul. If this were Luke’s intention, he would be giving Paul even more authority in comparing him directly to Jesus, making it obvious from whom Paul received his calling.
The last option is that Luke was not trying to allude to any other passages of scripture, and simply liked the phrase “your faith has made you well” when recounting miracles. He may have used a specific methodology for miracles, and all of these accounts fell under that “template.”
Do you think that Luke was trying to create allusions and comparisons between the ministry of Paul and Peter? Or Jesus? If this were the case, what should we infer from this comparison today?
45 thoughts on “Acts 14:8-10 – A Healing in Lystra”
I had never realized the connection between Peter and Paul ministry until it was brought up in class. It is very interesting how God used two men to reveal the light of God to people who were living in darkness. Looking at the verses following Peter’s miraculous work and Paul’s miraculous work, they were able to preach about the living God and encourage the people around them to worship the true God who has the power and ability to heal a broken heart that is consumed with sin. The actions that we do today can speak about what kind of people that we are and can point to the one that saves. Paul and Peter were representatives of Christ with the ability to show Christ through their miracles which gave them an opportunity to minister to those around them. People are continuously watching and you never know the impression you are giving to others by your actions.
It is very clear what Luke does, especially if you parallel the Gospel of Luke and Acts together. Luke is really one of the only continued writers coming from Jesus’ time period where he has seen what Christ had did, as with Peter and Paul. Like Anna, I also did not realize such a connection with Peter and Paul’s ministries. One thing to remember though is Peter learned and was a disciple under Jesus, even though denial had brought his own reputation down. Paul did not. He had the revelation from Christ on the road to Damascus (Acts 9). Yet, while Peter and Paul both healed a man, I think it’s plausible to say while these men were lame, healed, and had faith, I would jump for joy because I could walk (whether or not the man in Acts 14 recorded praise to God).
While it could be argued that Luke is simply fond of the phrase, “your faith has made you well,” it seems too coincidental that he would give such similar miracle accounts without intending to draw any deeper connections between them. Although there are some differences in the details of the three healings of lame men, there are two connections that I think perhaps Luke was emphasizing. First, as previously noted, Luke specifies that the healing in all three of these stories takes place because of the paralytics’ faith. It is not simply enough to hear the message of one preaching (even if the preacher is Jesus himself!), but rather it is necessary to respond with the heart attitude of faith in God. The second connection which can be drawn (albeit more subtly) is that we see the same Spirit which empowered Jesus to have special knowledge (to look at a man and see that he has faith) and power to heal is now empowering Peter and Paul (and Paul himself references this idea in Romans 8:11 and I Corinthians 12:4). A miracle which alludes to the miracles of Jesus serves as a stamp of authentication to Paul’s ministry, while pointing back to the ministry of Christ himself.
It does seem significant how Luke seems to tie this miracle in Acts 14 to the healing Peter performed in Acts 3 and then also to Luke 5, where Jesus heals a lame man. Whether or not Luke’s primary purpose in recording this healing was to validate Peter and Paul’s ministry under Christ, it definitely points us to that conclusion. It also alludes to the understanding, that Paul was not healing this man in his own strength. Through the tie to Jesus, it may also point to the power of the Spirit working out these miracles through Paul, because of what Christ had done on the cross. It is obvious that these people of Lystra did not come to this conclusion, for we read how they immediately thought Paul and Barnabas were gods to be worshiped and sacrificed to. My question is whether Paul and Barnabas lacked to communicate this working power of God through them, or the people were simply overcome by the sign they were seeing and only allowed in their minds one answer – that Paul and Barnabas were gods. I suppose as Gentiles that is all they would have known to gather from seeing this encounter. They have no background in the Scriptures to understand the power of God.
The inferences that this comparison may have for us today remind us that we too, like Paul, should seek to imitate Christ. In John 13:34-35 Jesus tells his disciples that people will know them as his followers because they love others, even as Jesus loved them. As we are being transformed into resembling Jesus closer and closer, people will notice what kind of people we are. May we be letters of Christ that the world reads – reflecting his glory (2 Cor. 3:2-3).
Like stated above, the healing that took place in Acts 14 with Paul and the crippled man is very similar to that the healing that took place in Acts 3 with Peter and Luke 5 with Jesus. I am not sure if Luke was trying to compare all three separate accounts when wrote them; however, I do think there is a reason he put both of the Acts healing accounts in the book. If one thinks about it, with Peters healing in Acts 3 this was a Jewish man at a Jewish synagogue (Renberg, article above). Gentiles were not even allowed in the synagogue at this point (Renberg, article above). When in Acts 14 the crippled man, as well as the crowd around them, are Gentile (Renberg, article above). Meaning, that Saul healed a Gentile man, not a Jew like Peter. This story was a way for God to show everyone He truly loved them and anyone who believed in Him could go to heaven. This story is an example of the calling God put on Paul’s life to go and send him to the Gentiles (Acts 22:21). Therefore, I believe by telling the two separate stories with one being a Jew and one being a Gentile it showed the new grace of God the story has been claiming since Acts 1.
The healing in Lystra does seem to be important. Not just because of the similarities between this account, Acts 3, and Luke 5, but also because this healing alone was a big deal for Paul’s ministry. The similarities, however, are also important to notice as they hold worth. I believe this moment is specifically important for Paul’s ministry. Both Peter and Paul had a similar healing at the beginning of their ministry. That seems to be an important detail for their ministries. Jesus also performed a similar healing towards the beginning of His ministry. Perhaps all of these parallels were designed to show the authority that had been bestowed upon each of them (Renberg). They were doing the work of God on earth, empowered by the Spirit. This is an important detail in their ministries. In Paul’s case specifically the people reacted in a way that suggested that Paul and Barnabas were gods. This idea was not as far off a most readers of Acts would think. “In antiquity, those who could perform miracles and wonders were often thought to be divine or agents of the divine” (Jipp 94). Since Paul was in fact commissioned a sent out by a divine God this healing is a testament of the power that the Divine had in Paul’s life and in the world. The healing was crucial to the beginning of Paul’s ministry, but it also showed the divine authority that God had placed on His life when he accepted his calling.
Each of the healings in the book of Acts may seem to be sometimes “out of place” but they serve an absolute great purpose. I think that Luke was trying to create some sort of comparison between all of these ministry accounts because, as the article writes about these comparisons made between the two, are often found having the roots of Jesus ministry. As we know Jesus was a healer. As well as many other things, but to have people within the bible do healings, these are very significant moments from within. We can easily understand that these accounts are all God inspired. I don’t think that these accounts of healing were to show off these healings as to show that Peter and Paul were great men f faith, but the healings were definenlty to show off the Authority of God’s power and his will. These men just reacted to the calling of God to do great things.
This really interested me when I was reading Acts 14. I think it is amazing how God can show how amazing He is through other people. I thought of this right away when this passage showed Paul performing the miracle on the man who was lame. The man was crippled and instantly jumped up and was healed. The shows how great God’s power really is. As I mentioned in my last post, Acts shows a progression of Paul’s ministry. It shows how God has worked through Paul and how it can affect other people. At this time in history, Jipp mentions that gods were polytheistic and active in everyday life (Jipp, 94). This is why the citizens of Lystra looked at Paul and Barnabas as gods when they were in Lystra. This really interested me when I read that. But, as we know, there is only one true God. I think it is important to realize how other people think and be understanding, but we also need to be able to proclaim the gospel. It may be uncomfortable, but it is our duty as Christians to proclaim the gospel to all people and all nations.
There are most certainly parallels that can be drawn from the works of Paul and Peter, and even to Jesus as well. The ministry journey and the things that Paul are doing definitely are reminiscent of other figures in the Bible, and there is a lot that we can draw from that. The connection that I know I can make to the modern day and to myself as well is that Jesus went out and served and did ministry, and we are called to do the same. Although we might not be committing miracles like healing the blind and the crippled, we still need to be the hands and feet of Jesus, and if we embrace and welcome this calling, then there is a lot that we can do through God. Paul’s miracle that is recorded isn’t Paul’s miracle, but is God’s miracle that is worked through Paul and a work of the Holy Spirit. That should be a direct parallel to how we approach ministry and how we should realize the fact that we are not doing ministry by ourselves, but we are doing the work of God and we are supposed to act as the hands and the feet of Jesus.
I can definitely see similarities between the ministries of Paul and Peter. There are also even similarities between the ministries of Paul and Jesus. This is seen in the fact that they went out sharing the gospel and healing people. They told people of God’s love for them. They also showed that love for other people in the way that they treated others and were loving them the way that God loves us. They also healed those in need. While we may not be going out and healing those in need around us, we can still show them the love of God. We need to be going out and seeking to help those around us in need. We should be telling them about God’s love while also demonstrating it to them by loving them. If we are going out and doing this, God can use us in so many great ways to reach people for Him. We need to have Paul’s willingness to go and reach others for God.
I think that there are comparisons between Jesus, Peter, and Paul’s miracles and I think the most important one is that they performed these miracles because of faith. Each of the people that were healed was healed because of their faith in Jesus or their willingness to listen to the gospel. “He listened to Paul speaking. And Paul, looking intently at him and seeing that he had faith to be made well…” (Acts 14:9). Paul knew that this man had faith in God. It is interesting to me that the lame men that both Peter and Paul performed miracles on were unable to walk since birth. I don’t think it was a coincidence for them to come across two men that would be eternally grateful to be able to walk for the first time. After Peters healing, the lame man rejoiced and praised God! I think that it was also no coincidence that Peter came across this man who went straight to praising God after his healing. When people saw this “they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him” (Acts 3:10). This showed people a glimpse of God and most likely arose questions about Jesus and the gospel. I think these accounts are significant because they brought several people to faith or at least to witness an act of Jesus.
The comparisons between the miracle of healing the lame that Peter performed and the miracle Paul doing the same thing is evident in the book of Acts. The idea that this miracle that Peter and Paul performed can also be compared to the miracle that Jesus performed Luke is almost a reaffirming aspect in the ministry that Paul and Peter did. I do think that there is a significance Luke writing them the way that he did though. I think that Luke did this to show how the power of God was able to work through anyone. Peter was known for denying Jesus three times when he was put on trial and Paul was known for persecuting the Christians. The fact that they were able to perform the same type of miracle that Jesus did, reaffirms their ministry that they did. The thing that sticks out in all three of these miracles is the fact that all of these men were crippled at birth and had faith that they would be healed (Acts 14:9). They were healed by faith in something greater and were therefore, eternally grateful for the miracle performed on them. It shows us a glimpse of the greatness of God and how he is able to use anyone to perform the same miracles that his son performed.
You brought up an interesting point here. I would agree what Paul and Peter both did reaffirmed the miracle that Jesus performed and did through both of these men. Also, just liked how you mentioned it, it does not matter to Him at all of who a person might be and what they have done, God will use those that He knows will further His kingdom.
I think that Luke was connecting Paul to Peter in with this miracle, because of the great similarity they have to one another. I also think that the result of Paul’s miracle was a great point to Luke’s story. The Jews were looking for a Messiah, and looking for A savior to save them from Rome and their oppressors, while the Gentiles were not necessarily looking for a Messiah or a Savior and really considered these acts to be more of acts of gods. I think that while Peter’s and Paul’s miracles were linked to each other I also think that they were compared to each to show the differences between the two’s ministries.
Yes, I think that it is safe to say that Luke was definitely trying or meaning to make allusions and or comparisons between the ministry of not only Paul and Peter, but also Jesus as well. The main reason that I think Luke was meaning to do this was because of how both Paul and Peter were performing the miracles that they did in Jesus’ name. Basically, they trusted Jesus and the mission that he was trying to accomplish. What makes it more interesting is the fact that Jesus did miracles through Paul and Peter even. If you think about it a little more closely, Luke was simply just hinting at the fact that no matter the person, God is more than willing to work with anyone and everyone. The biggest proof of this concerning Peter comes from where he denied Jesus three times. With Paul, we all know that he used to go by the name of Saul, in which his sole mission was to continue persecuting Christian people. Once these two men saw what they were doing was wrong, they continued on with what Jesus was commanding them to do and preach the Gospel to those who needed the healing. The biggest examples of this would be when Peter healed the Lame Man outside of the temple gate (Acts 3), and then with Paul when he also healed a lame man who wasn’t able to walk since birth (Acts 14:8-10).
Do you think that Luke was trying to create allusions and comparisons between the ministry of Paul and Peter? Or Jesus? If this were the case, what should we infer from this comparison today?
When we look at the gospels we see a number of things that are repeated. There is a purpose for things to be repeated. All three of these moments when people got to visually see a man healed. That isn’t something that just a few people see and just say, “oh that’s normal,” no way! This probably spread like wildfire. Jesus did it and people thought it was amazing, but when two “normal guys” do something like that its a crazy moment and done completely on purpose for Gods mission to show the power of the Holy Spirit.
This is an incredible opportunity for this man to have a testimony to share just what God has done for him and when people hear things like that they start to have a change start in their heart.
Today we see miracles happen from healing of sickness and just the little things that God does in people’s lives. These testimonies that people have are sometimes similar but unique to that particular person. these are moments that are personal interactions with God where he truly reveals his powers to the world. We may live with a faith that not seeing is believing, but the miracles that we do get are things that are absolutely incredible. these are moments when we are at our weakest and God steps in and shows because we have trusted him he wants to bless us. when we share these things with people they can’t help but see how impacted our lives and they also want that in their lives.
The major theme I see between the miracles done through Paul, Peter, and Jesus is the fact that God’s miraculous power is endless and limitless. Because they all had different circumstances, God was doing miracles through them differently to show unique ways of His power. It depends on what it is a comparison to, if it is of miracles or the ‘results.’ If we did compare them in the light of results, I see the comparison of Paul to Jesus, as they both resulted in an amazing miracle, yet great pushback from the Pharisees. There are parallels between how Paul is treated compared to Jesus, and it makes sense. Jesus said that we would suffer and be rejected as well, and this is an example of Paul receiving a bit of what Jesus had suffered here on earth. I can especially see this case of comparison, because it seemed to be the same group that Jesus faced suffering from (Long).
Despite the results from the miracles, this points us even more to the idea that our ministry on earth is not about the fruit we see, but the faithfulness. Paul was one of the most faithful servants we see in the Bible, yet this miracle led him to no converts, and being stoned (Long). But, Paul may never know who actually started to have faith in Jesus, even if it seemed like no one received it. Paul was faithful, even without seeing plenty of fruit in this specific situation. This is why comparing the results of the miracles may not be the most effective way to compare.
I believe that the event that took place in Acts 14 with Paul’s healing of the lame man is so similar to the healing that Peter performed in Acts 3. Now I’m not sure if Luke included this to make a connection but I do believe that he put it in this for a reason to show that God had love for everyone. With Peter healing a Jew in the synagogue which they were not allowed to be in was a huge step in the ministry and God’s love. With Paul healing a gentile along with a crowd of people around him was also a second way a showing that God loved His people with disregard to who they are. Both of these healings from Peter and Paul were taken place during the very beginnings of their ministries which is why it is so important for both of them to be included. Paul was sent out by God to the gentiles to spread the word and for the people to see this take place was the power of God that He placed on Paul. This was a crucial step in the ministry of Paul which is why Luke added it in. After this happened the people of Lystra looked at Paul as some sort of God which is understandable, but they need to realize that he has the power of God and that God love’s all.
Personally I do believe that he intended to make a comparison between the two. And I think he did it for good reason. That reason is that by speaking of Paul in the same tone as they did about Peter it gives him a greater presence and makes you think of him in the same way. And even though his miracle didn’t convert as many people we have to keep in mind who their audiences were as you mentioned in the post. Paul was preaching in front of all Gentiles so it would be harder for him to convince those who have no history or experience praising and believing in God. But I doubt that Luke just chose to write this story this way without intending to make comparisons because the bible as a whole is so detailed and intertwined that it wouldn’t even make sense in that he didn’t intend the two story’s to have something to do with one another.
Although Paul may not need any credibility from current readers of Acts, knowing the continuing story of Paul’s ministry in later letters, he may have needed some authority check in the early years of the church. Just knowing from where he started, there could still be those that doubt his sincerity in the Gospel message. Including this account, specifically at the beginning of his ministry to the Gentiles, is significant in saying that his ministry is just as valid as Peter’s ministry is to the Jews. It is interesting to note the contrast between the two accounts of healing between Peter and Paul and the similarities and contrast to the healings of Jesus. I think it is entirely possible that Luke was alluding to the ministry of Jesus. Just because they were met with opposition, does not make their ministry any less valid. Though Luke could have specifically mentioned Jesus’ ministry, I would not completely write it off that this was Luke’s intention. I do not think it is any coincidence that both the first miracle of Paul and Peter were healing men that had been paralyzed since birth. I think there is significance in that Peter was healing a Jewish man and Paul was healing a Gentile, this potentially gives insight into their future ministries. We can try to infer a lot from this passage and from the obvious correlation between Peter and Paul, however, we do not know the original intention of Luke.. Even if he had one in including these accounts, other than for the purpose of showing the power of God, we can see that the saving was not just for the Jews, but also for the Gentiles.
Faith is a word used throughout the entire Bible. When Jesus performed miracles many times it was the faith of the person that Jesus saw and then healed them. For example the centurion’s faith, the faith of the woman who touched his cloak, and the faith of the friends who lowered the lame man from the roof. Faith is a theme that seems to correlate with many miracles. Jesus said if we have faith as small as a mustard seed, we can tell mountains to move (Matt. 17:20). I think this is the main reason Luke shares this story. Although we can debate whether this miracle was more like Peter or more like Jesus, either way Luke was pointing again to this theme of faith. When we don’t have faith or are struggling to believe we just have to cry out to Jesus to help us with our unbelief (Mark 9:24).
As far as this miracle goes, I think that Luke was correlating it with Peter’s miracle. Although there are some pretty distinct differences between the two, just like you had mentioned Adam. I think the main elements of each have to do with the power of the Holy Spirit in both Paul and Peter. Christ is working in them BOTH to share the gospel to all the nations, to the Jews and to the Gentiles. Each of these miracles required both Peter and Paul to look at the lame man, I believe God gave these men the ability to see the hearts of the lost in an invisible way.
Both men are strong pillars of the early church. Both performed miracles. Both were apostles, with different specific missions, but all for one outcome to be a witness to the gospel.
In the healing that Paul did it appears to be a miracle that points to Paul’s proof of being a disciple of Jesus. We see in this passage that he is there to preach and share the gospel with the Gentiles. While Paul is in the process of doing so he heals this man. Although interesting enough it is not done in the name of Jesus which seems to put up a red flag. It is important to note that he said, “your faith has made you well” this gives credit to the fact that the man had faith in God. This then gives what we may call today a “shout out” to God. It can be looked at as Paul being compared to other paralytic healings. I personally believe that the recording of this miracle points to the fact that Paul was pursuing a God centered ministry that he was called to by God. Ultimately I do not believe that Luke was trying to make allusions or comparisons but just recording the ministry of Paul.
When I read the story of Paul healing the lame man, I instantly thought about when Peter did the same thing back in Acts 3. I didn’t think of the differences between them before, but after reading this article, it was interesting to think about. I think the big difference is the audience as alluded in this article. The audience difference is Jew and gentile. Although the phrase “your faith has made you well” seems to be very fitting when looking at the connection between Peter and Paul, part of me thinks that Luke could be trying to get a bigger picture than that. A connection from these stories is that the act of healing happened on behalf of the person’s faith – not to show the work of the Lord. These stories just show that everyone from Jew to Gentile had some faith in the Lord. I, personally, do not think that Luke was trying to compare Peter and Paul, but was just trying to show the faith that people had in the Lord themselves.
It makes sense to parallel Peter’s and Paul’s ministry and the manifestations of miracles as confirmation of the validity of their calling and ministry. Especially in the case of Paul, who was specifically charged to reach the Gentiles, something completely countercultural for the Jews. And it also makes sense that Luke could be drawing parallels between Jesus’ and Paul’s miracle account to point to Paul as having even greater significance in his ministry as compared to Peter’s. That makes sense because the rest of the book of Acts focuses on Paul, someone outside of the original twelve and someone charged with a slightly different mission than the twelve and other disciples in Acts 1:8. Both Peter and Paul received authority directly and indirectly from Jesus Christ to perform their ministries, but just like the book of Acts manifests itself, Peter’s movement loses strength and focus while Paul’s gains strength and focus. The book of Acts transitions its focus from exclusively ministry to the Jews to ministry to everyone. The element of the miracle confirms both Jesus’ backing Peter and Paul’s ministry as well as their distinctiveness as Paul later recalls, “Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom” (1 Corinthians 1:22). Paul’s miracle performance inadvertently drew attention onto himself upon a Greek audience, because what they saw surpassed their understanding. Better yet, it was consistent with their understanding of Greek mythology. Later, in Acts 17, Paul approaches a Greek audience challenging their knowledge instead of performing miracles, and the outcome was quite different. Some believed and others were interested in more of what he had to say, but none took him for a Greek god. While the effect of his miracle performance did not have a successful impact as it usually did with Jewish audiences, it shows the reader that things are changing as the ministry progresses and the Holy Spirit moves throughout the book of Acts.
The healing in Lystra is truly a wonderful moment in scripture. Perhaps the most powerful takeaway from this moment is the fact it is a great representation and symbolization of the ministry that Jesus did. During his time and ministry on Earth, Jesus did many miracles- and of course one of these was healing a lame man. Peter also performed healing earlier on in Acts. Then here we have in Acts the first recorded miracle by Paul. In the words of the genius George Lucas, “it’s like poetry, it rhymes.” Paul is showing us the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit coming down upon him, and is showing the living power of Christ being used. It truly is a beautiful moment because it’s a fulfilling of several promises by Christ- the fulfillment of the Holy Spirit, and the fulfillment of the ministry that would occur as He spoke of the great commission. This moment is an incredible one to contrast with Paul’s conversion. One day Paul is blinded by the Lord and then is healed. Then before he knows it, the power of the Living God is now living in Paul, and is using Paul to heal people of very similar physical conditions that he previously had.
If Luke was indeed trying to compare the healings of Peter and John with those of Peter and Paul, then the target audience must be taken into account as well. As mentioned in the blog post, the two groups that had witnessed the healings were Jews and Gentiles. The Jews were receptive to the first healing done by Peter and John, but hardly at all with Peter and Paul. I believe the reason for this was because, up until that point, the gospel had not been spread to the gentiles and the Jews were not taking too kindly to the fact that it now was. In Acts 14:11-14, Paul and Peter are in Lystra which Polhill confirms to be a mostly Gentile region (2113). The people who saw the miracle originally weren’t angered by the ministry of Peter and Paul. Instead, these people thought that they were gods in human form, thus confirming that these were the people that needed to hear about the gospel. This is exactly what Paul and Peter do in verses 15-17 and it is only after the Jews came from Antioch that the crowds turned against the disciples.
The contrast that was mentioned between the two healings, the response of the people, stuck out to me from a ministry standpoint. Even though the healing was done in almost the same way as Peter and John’s, the result showed that not every good act that is done in Christ will convince or draw people to God. It seems to stand as a reminder to those who do ministry that you may not be successful every time and you may result in losing ties with friends and family. The path of Jesus was never promised to be easy and this is just another early example of hardships to come.
I think that everything really got going in Act 14 Paul being healed is what kind of stood out to me. Paul was healed from Peter and took place in the start of them getting going with ministries. It was serious that Paul was to be included in whatever was going on, All in All Paul was sent out from God to get God’s word out and people seen how powerful God was because the impact he had on Paul and changing his life around a whole 360%. Paul and God had a understanding after reading this there relationship grew as Paul started trusting God more and more each and everyday
After reading Acts 14 we see that Paul heals a lame man after his speech, after he is intently looking at the lame man during his speech because he had faith that needed to be made well. This immediately makes me thing back to Acts 3 when Peter heals the lame man at the Beautiful Gate. As I was taking the quiz for Acts 14 I actually got confused when there was a question regarding Peter’s healing compared to Paul’s healing of the lame man. The question was a bit of a trick referring to their being a large crowd, there was one in acts 3 in Peter’s healing but not specifically mentioned in Paul’s healing in acts 14. I just though that I would include that in this blog post because I didn’t comprehend it correctly. To answer the question about if “Luke was trying to create allusions and comparisons between the ministry of Paul and Peter? Or Jesus?”. I think that Luke was trying to tie together these 2 separate ministries. The way that he portrays each of these different healings are very similar in my eyes. I can also see that to whoever wrote this blog “Professor Longs Student” also states how he the comparisons were very obvious, but there were also some large differences. I myself didn’t see the large differences but after reading more I understand the differences that were not so obvious when just reading the surface level of Acts 14. It was a sense of diving deeper which this blog provided.
To respond to the thought of what Luke’s intentions were here in Acts 14, I will say it is difficult to be for sure, but we can draw some insight on it. I believe that the miracle in Acts 14 by Paul, written by Luke, was placed right where it was because he wanted to draw some comparisons and similarities between Paul and Peter’s ministries both, as well as Paul and Jesus even. I think that by Luke doing this, he might have been highlighting the purpose and also validating these missions in the fact that they were ultimately orchestrated by God. We sure can infer that God works through different people in different ways to accomplish His purposes. We should appreciate the unique gifts and callings of each person in ministry and recognize that each has an important role to play in advancing God’s kingdom. I also think that we can learn from this that it took a lot of faith of those who were healed. This is common in the rest of the healing miracles that were recorded in Acts as well. We should strive to have the kind of faith that pleases God and allows Him to work in and through us.
I think Like is trying to compare the ministry of Paul and Peter or Jesus with different points of views to give understanding to the reader the works of the Holy Spirit and the purpose of God’s plans. When Jesus performed the miracles people started following him. It is the sight that he is a messiah. But when Peter healed a man, he healed by using the name of Jesus. This even more proves that Jesus is Messiah, also Peter was known that he is one of Jesus’ disciples. That happened in the temple and only to jews. In his explanation, Peter quotes Deut 18:15-18, to make them understand the work of God since they (the Jews) are all familiar with the scriptures.
But here, Paul healed a man, but a different location and to the gentile. The miracle was the man but the purpose of the ministry is different. Luke may be trying to show us that, how the Holy Spirit formed or moved the gospel of Jesus differently to the gentile compared to the Jews. Paul didn’t quote the scriptures in this explanation. Even if he did, people will have no idea what he is talking about because they are not familiar with Jew Bible. Intead, Paul explained their lifestyle and the creation.
So this is telling that the Gospel of Jesus and spread in many different ways. Depending on their lifestyle. Because all nations have different cultures. But the Gospel of Jesus fits for all. But we can not force people to practice other cultures to become the followers of Jesus. But this is the work of the Holy Spirit. All we have to do is share when the Holy Spirit is telling you to do. The Holy Spirit will take care of the rest of them.
Paul healing the crippled man in Acts 14, is another one of the great miracles that Paul had done. It is interesting to understand how Paul sharing the gospel in a sermon to this man had healed him of his paralyzation. I find it very interesting that Paul did not use Jesus in his miracle of healing the paralyzed man because usually when miracles are performed, Jesus is brought up as being the son of God then the individual is healed but this did not happen in Acts 14 and it is interesting to try to gain an understanding of why. Honestly, I like to read the stories of sick individuals, especially individuals who were born with disabilities, getting healed because it brings joy to the heart while reading. These miracles are ways of implying how believers showed others how God works in the lives of those who are his followers and how important it is to follow Christ. Each one of these miracles of healing people is important to the message that whoever does the healing has in the long run and for those who are believers and those who are not believers. There tends to be a connection between all of the healing miracles because it shows that the work of God is continuing to rise through the ones that share the gospel and is given to share with others who God is as a whole. In the end, looking at a comparison to all of these miracles is informative and gives better conclusions to the meanings of these different miracles and what they truly mean.
There is a definite similarity between Paul and Peter healing a paralytic. I personally think that Luke wrote these stories of miracles of healing similar for a reason. I like what P. Long said in the summary of what he thought that most people think that Luke wants to show the authority and the ministry of both Paul and Peter. I think also it can show that Peter wasn’t the only one that could perform miracles on others so by showing the same miracle but having it being done by someone else it gave it the sense that any disciple of God through the power of God could perform a miracle. I think that could have been one of the reasons why Luke put two of the same miracles into writing and or why God had Luke do it. Which brings the focus back onto the main reason why these miracles could be done. They could be done because of God and His power, without God working through Paul and Peter those miracles wouldn’t have happened. One comparison between both Paul and Peter was that they both wanted to get the gospel into the hearts of those around them. One way to do this and truly show people is through miracles, to show how power full God is.
I think it’s an obvious connection to compare Paul’s healing of the lame man to Jesus’s healing of a lame man because of the connected phrase about faith making them well. However, paralleling Paul’s miracle with Peter’s was something I hadn’t considered before. In Acts 3, Peter heals the beggar at the Beautiful Gate, but there is no mention of the man’s faith making him well. Peter says that he has no silver or gold to give him, but what he does have he gives to him (Acts 3:6). He gives him healing in the name of Jesus but makes no mention of the man’s faith. Whereas, in Paul’s experience, Acts 14:9 states that Paul saw that the man had faith to be made well. Paul doesn’t even have to ask the man, he just sees it.
I think that although Peter and Paul have similar stories that could be paralleled, it makes more sense to contrast them. Their performance of miracles had completely different audiences. When Peter healed the man at the Beautiful Gate, he was on his way to the temple. His audience was Jewish. Paul, however, was in Lystra which was filled with Gentiles. And, after they witnessed the healing of the lame man, they immediately assumed Paul was a god. I find it interesting that in the case of a Jew being healed, there isn’t a direct mention of his faith, but with the healing of a Gentile man, it was his faith that made him well. Clearly, the mention of the man’s faith was intentional, but does it make it more significant that he was a Gentile?
Paul healed a paralytic during his ministry, and the man had been crippled from birth. He was healed after he listened to Paul preach. He told him to stand up, and he started to walk and jumped up. He was completely healed, and it was wonderful. It was a miracle, and it was also similar to what Peter did in the temple. Peter and John also went to the temple, and they found a man who was lame from birth. Peter healed that man, and he could walk. Both Paul and Peter healed people, but it was not because of their powers. They healed people in the name of Jesus Christ, and there is power in the name of Jesus. The healed man and the people praised God because they believed that God existed. This shows that all believers can perform deliverance in the name of Jesus for everyone in all nations. God wants all believers to share the gospel with everyone and heal them. In this generation, we do not see the believers who perform deliverance and heal sick people. But I believe there is power in the name of Jesus, and by the power of the Holy Spirit, we all can have joy and heal from our pain. Because of the Holy Spirit, not only Peter or Paul could perform miracles, but so could other disciples and believers.
It’s possible that Luke was not trying to make any comparison between the two, Paul and Peter. As mentioned in the blog post, Luke was “demonstrating that God ordained each of the men’s ministries” and even showing the authority He had given them, the same authority that Jesus had mentioned to them back in Mark 16:15-18 that they would receive. Paul was obviously not there when Jesus had given the disciples the Great Commission but as Paul was able to perform the same miracles as Jesus and Peter, it proved that his ministry was ordained by God and therefore had been given the authority to perform miracles by God too. The healing in Lystra and the correlation with Peters’ healing in Acts 3 also emphasizes the different ministry each one had. Peter had healed a Jewish man and Paul a Gentile, indicating specifically whom God had assigned their ministry to be with. The reaction of the Gentile man was also telling. Once healed, the people in Lystra began to say that Paul and Barnabas were gods, unlike the praise given to God by the Jewish man healed back in Acts 3, thus demonstrating the need for Paul’s ministry of sharing the Gospel there in Lystra.
I think that it would be safe to assume that perhaps Luke is alluding all three stories together when Paul encounters this lame man and he is healed. The purpose we see in almost any New Testament, whether it is from Peter, Paul, Jesus, or any person is to reveal the validity and authority of the message that they have. For Paul, it could be validating his message both by the miracle itself and that he is serving on behalf of God, as well as validating to the readers that he comes from the same line of authority that Peter did as well as Jesus himself. Obviously the problem in the instance with Paul is that these people confuse him and Barnabas with pagan gods and begin trying to worship them as they have missed where the power and authority they represent actually comes from. The story ending with Paul being stoned and left for dead does leave you to wonder why this story is included in general. But I think it may be further showing how polluted the people are and how much the Jews and rejecting the Gospel as we enter the turning point in Acts where Paul starts aiming the Gospel to the Gentiles and pagans. “But Jews came from Antioch and Iconium, and having persuaded the crowds, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing that he was dead” (14:19). Here Luke makes a specific point to include that the Jews were not only stubborn to receiving the Gospel, but they were proactive in making sure that the Gospel mission failed for Paul while he moved from city to city. But the fact that he still healed people in the name of Jesus shows that he is still working under God’s authority and is a part of the same mission that Peter and the others are fighting for.
With the numerous healings of the lame men throughout the book of Luke and Acts, there must be some sort of allusion to the miracle processes. I think this because Luke is a smart man, I mean he was a physician, which implies he had at least a little bit of intelligence. The question is why he recorded these paralleled stories almost simultaneously. Maybe he wanted the readers to know that these miracles were planned by God’s will. To show God’s will through miracle stories of almost the exact sameness does prove that these miracles were not done by mistake as if it was practiced or planned. This is the feeling we would get if it was in God’s will because God knows what will happen. It is just non-coincidental that in all the healings of the lame men that there was mention of Jesus, “the apostles stared at the lame man” (Acts 14:9), then the “lame men were able to stand up”, but not only stand up, but they were also “able to leap up” and jump in gladness (Acts 14:10). As Polhill states, “The Holy Spirit showed Paul that [the lame man] had faith to be made well” (2008, p. 2113). The paralleled fact that this was realized proves that God had this plan because these lame men were all in the same stage of “having faith to be made well” (Acts 14:9).
As said in the blog post written by Renberg, he says, in “Acts 3, the lame man praises God for healing him, but in Acts 14 [the lame man] does not have any recorded praise.” I do not think the differences and comparisons have anything to do with the personal ministries between Peter and Paul, I think the differences such as the difference in praising just show the fact that God will be faithful and keep loving you even if you do not yet know God and praise Him for the things in life that He has done for you. So with the differences, I think Luke was trying to point out the fact that God is excepting of all people no matter what happens, and in the comparisons, I think that Luke was trying to show that these miracles were planned in God’s will and that these stories show that they were not coincidental.
I like to consider the significance of mentioning that the crippled man was unable to walk from birth. Perhaps there was some speculation surrounding these kinds of miracles as to whether or not the healing miracle was actually real. Mentioning that the man was crippled from birth—and verifying this claim with eyewitness testimony—would help to ensure the validity of the miracles and thus the validity of the one doing the miracle as one appointed by the spirit. But mentioning this detail could also be an indicator of the level of power that the miracle-worker possessed. Perhaps healing someone who had been crippled from birth was seen as a harder miracle to perform because they had been crippled the longest.
On the other hand, it is apparently not the one performing the miracle that is doing the healing, rather, it is said to be the faith of the one being healed that heals them. It makes you think about the significance of faith in God’s work in the world. Does faith have the power to literally move a mountain, or is this a hyperbolic statement about the influence of faith on our lives? What can faith do? I just chalk it up to one of those “God works in mysterious ways” things. Still, if faith can make a lame man walk, what else can it do?
The healing in Lystra was the first healing moment that was recorded in Paul’s ministry. The healing occurred when a man was healed from being crippled since birth after listening to Paul speak. The similarities between this and the lame from birth is that they both start out being crippled, the apostles stare at the cripples, and we see commentators seeing the parallels of Luke making a statement about the authority and ministry of Paul and Peter. While reflecting off of the story in Acts 3, what is the purpose of Paul’s miracle in Acts 14? We could see that Luke was demonstrating that God ordained Paul and Peter’s ministry. In reflection to the post, I wouldn’t think that Luke was trying to create allusions and comparisons between the ministries of Paul and Peter. I think the main purpose was to address the power of the ministry and the works of God.
There are similarities and differences between the miracles performed by Peter and Paul in the book of Acts. I think Luke is trying to describe the events that occurred during Paul’s missionary journey. However, there are certainly similarities and differences between the ministries of Paul, Peter, and Jesus, which can be inferred from the broader context of the New Testament. For example, all three were chosen and empowered by God to preach the gospel and perform miracles. But while Jesus was fully divine and Peter was one of the original twelve apostles, Paul was a later convert who was initially opposed to the Christian faith. In Acts 3, Peter heals a beggar at the Beautiful Gate. Peter had no alms to give him but the name of Jesus to make him walk. There is no mention of the man’s faith before his encounter with Peter, and Peter healing him. In Acts 14, Paul healed a lame man. He saw his faith and told him to rise and walk. The responses from the audience from these two stories also hold different reactions. Some of the people viewed Paul and Barnabas as gods, and some of the people started praising God. From these comparisons, we can infer that God uses a variety of people and methods to accomplish his purposes and spread the gospel. We can see the importance of faith, and obedience as exemplified by all three figures. These comparisons and differences can serve as examples and encouragement that God may use different people and ways to further His mission.
In the bible we see so many healings of people who are going through many things. I love being able to read about the different miracles taking place for other people. Carrying this on into our lives we see many different healings and miracles happening. Many people who are non-believers have a hard time accepting these things and believing that miracles can happen. On the other hand we have people that when something bad happens they beg for a miracle to happen. One of Paul’s first recorded miracles was healing a crippled man. The man was healed after he heard Paul speak. Paul proceeded to tell the man to stand up. I find it very strange how Long stated that this kind of ministry wasn’t unique to Paul. It is important here to note that Paul did not use the name of Jesus during his miracle, but how did the miracle happen without Jesus? Long talks about how Paul may have spoken about Jesus prior to the healing. Long brought up a good point on how Luke compared Paul and Peter. We read in the blog that Luke is doing this to pretty much shed light on the purpose of both of their missions. It is important to remember that Luke did this to show that God ordained each of their miracle’s.
Acts 14:8-10 we read about the healing Paul conducted in Lystra. As we read when he enters into the city that he engages with a lame man, that has been from birth. This individual spent his entire life as a beggar in the city, helpless, disposable, unable to live a full life. Paul through the empowerment of Jesus, Paul commands him to get up and walk. As mentioned in the blog post both Paul and Peter conducted similar miracles, healing lame men. We see this all throughout scripture, some of the same miracles occurring time and time again. The one major difference that I learned through this blog post that I found quite interesting was that Paul never used the name of Jesus when performing or in the aftermath of the miracle. I would find it quite interesting to see if this is a common occurrence throughout scripture as miracles are performed by the disciples, or if it was just in that miracle that Paul performed.
This blog post is very insightful on Acts 14:8-10. The post describes the first recorded miracle of Paul’s ministry which is interesting as I did not know this before reading this blog post. I enjoy reading about the similarities between this healing and the healing shown in Acts 3:1-10. It’s interesting to think that there are parallels between the two and the blog states that in both accounts, there was an individual who was lame from birth, both Apostles stare at the cripple individuals, and both cripples leap up. The blog then goes on to say that these parallels are intentional to make a statement about the authority and ministry of Paul and Peter. I enjoy learning new things from these posts!
First off, hearing that the lame man “jumped up and started walking” is a miracle in and of itself, mainly because when someone has been lame since birth, they never knew how to walk. This particular man had never even stepped one foot before in his entire life and the first thing he does is jump! He knew he had been fully healed and he showed everyone else around him. As I stated in my last blog post comment, I have always been very intrigued with Luke’s type of writing in Acts, so hearing that the healing of the lame man in Acts 14 is side-by-side identical to the healing of the lame man in Acts 3, makes his writing styles and techniques even more impressive. I definitely think that this could be just Luke saying that there is a clear comparison between Peter and Paul’s healing of the lame man. I can see where Adam Renberg brought up the point of connecting this to Jesus and I don’t think we can completely cross that idea off. Luke is very intentional and interesting in why he writes specific things so the reason why he wrote the comparison to Acts 3 could be to echo Jesus’ voice.