Metaphysical Bible Interpretation of Acts Chapter 3
Metaphysically Interpreting Acts 3:1-16
3:1Now Peter and John were going up into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour.3:2And a certain man that was lame from his mother's womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the door of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple; 3:3who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked to receive an alms. 3:4And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him, with John, said, Look on us. 3:5And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something from them. 3:6But Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but what I have, that give I thee. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk. 3:7And he took him by the right hand, and raised him up: and immediately his feet and his ankle-bones received strength. 3:8And leaping up, he stood, and began to walk; and he entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God. 3:9And all the people saw him walking and praising God: 3:10and they took knowledge of him, that it was he that sat for alms at the Beautiful Gate of the temple; and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him. 3:11And as he held Peter and John, all the people ran together unto them in the porch that is called Solomon's, greatly wondering. 3:12And when Peter saw it, he answered unto the people, Ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this man? or why fasten ye your eyes on us, as though by our own power or godliness we had made him to walk? 3:13The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Servant Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied before the face of Pilate, when he had determined to release him. 3:14But ye denied the Holy and Righteous One, and asked for a murderer to be granted unto you, 3:15and killed the Prince of life; whom God raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses. 3:16And by faith in his name hath his name made this man strong, whom ye behold and know: yea, the faith which is through him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.
May 22, 1927: Acts 3:1-10
The lesson today tells of a spiritual demonstration or a healing. What is the first requisite to the demonstrating of a healing? Prayer is the first requisite to the receiving of spiritual healing. Spiritual healing is accomplished through the activity of spiritual mind. The Scriptures call spiritual mind the gift of God. Spiritual mind is made active through prayer.
"Now Peter and John were going up into the temple at the hour of prayer." Can understanding of the inner life be attained without prayer and praise? No. Some persons think that understanding of the inner life can be attained without prayer and praise, but they are mistaken in this belief. All who have reached heights in things spiritual have been noted for their devotions. Jesus strikingly illustrated this fact. He spent whole nights in prayer.
What is represented by the phrase, "the door of the temple which is called Beautiful'? This door symbolizes spiritual understanding. The door opens when we pray and praise. Praise is typified in Judah, one of the twelve sons of Jacob. When Judah was born Leah said, "This time will I praise Jehovah." In our lesson for today we read that Peter and John went "up into the temple at the hour of prayer." Their minds were lifted up by prayer.
What is represented by the man who was lame from his birth? The lame man typifies one who has not affirmed his spiritual strength (the sustaining influence of spiritual ideas that permeate his being) through the living Christ. His understanding needs to be lifted up and adjusted. The feet represent a phase of the understanding.
What is the meaning of the Scripture passage, "And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him, with John, said, Look on us"? Peter symbolizes faith and John symbolizes love. The command really means: Look on faith and love. Faith is Spirit, and is always at hand; love is the very substance of being. We "look upon" them by concentrating our minds upon these essentials of the spiritual man.
February 24, 1935: Acts 3:1-10
In this lesson what symbol of spiritual understanding is found? The "door of the temple which is called Beautiful" symbolized spiritual understanding,
Why should we practice prayer and praise? Because these practices open the door to the inner life, and help us to understand ourselves.
What is essential to success in the work of spiritual healing? There must be faith on the part of the one who is to be healed that the power of the Christ to restore him lies in himself, and that he can call it forth. Faith and love are the avenues of health.
Peter, with John, said to the lame man, "Look on us." What good came of that command? The lame man looked as he was bid, "expecting to receive something from them." Expectation of benefit to be derived from faith and love did not fail of its reward.
What assurance have we that our health shall not fail if we trust God to keep us well? If we are conscious of the love of God welling up within our hearts while we trust Him for our health, we know that we shall remain in perfect health; for "love never faileth."
Interpret the saying of Jesus "I am the way, the truth, and the life." The Christ way of life is to know that we are in perfect health. Added to health-giving thoughts should be moderation in eating and drinking, control of the emotional nature, and a love of the good expressed in actual daily life.
What power resides in example? The one who does great deeds inspires others at the thought of him to attempt like deeds. He who works miracles leads others to seek greater understanding and to have deeper faith.
February 12, 1939: Acts 3:1-10
What metaphysical meaning attaches to the statement that Peter and John "were going up into the temple at the hour of prayer"? In this statement the metaphysician sees an acknowledgment that faith and love are faculties that have their rightful place in the spiritual body of man.
Of what is the lame man who lay at "the door of the temple which is called Beautiful" a type? He is a type of those who have not affirmed their spiritual strength and have therefore not realized the sustaining influence of the spiritual ideas that permeate their being. Faith and love can meet the needs of this type.
What does his asking alms signify? The fact that he asked alms outside the door of the Temple shows the readiness of the natural man to appease his religious instincts by the observance of external customs and rites rather than by worship from the heart.
Why did Peter say, "Lobk on us"? Man must fix his attention on faith and love and understand the healing power of these faculties if be wishes to know physical and spiritual wholeness.
Explain the discrepancy between what the lame man asked for and what he received. He asked for a gift of money, which would have been of temporary benefit to him. He received the gift of health and strength, permanent assets that fitted him to be self-supporting. Faith and love give richer gifts than the personal man expects or foresees.
In what form was the gift conveyed? As a command: "In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk."
What requirement of the divine law did the lame man meet when we was healed? He immediately praised God and practiced walking. He was not afraid to trust himself to his feet but accepted the gift of health and strength.
August 16, 1914: Acts 3:1-16
SlLENT PRAYER: I am strong in the Lord and the power of his might.
The "gate of the temple which is called Beautiful" is Spiritual Understanding. The gate opens when we pray and praise. Among the twelve faculties of the mind, as typified by the twelve sons of Jacob, it is Judah. When he was born, Leah said, "Now will I praise the Lord." In our lesson today, "Peter and John went up into the temple at the hour of prayer."
Some people think that the understanding of the inner life can be attained without prayer, but they are mistaken. All who have reached heights in things spiritual have been noted for their devotions. Jesus was a striking illustration of this. He spent whole nights in prayer, and he seemed to be asking the Father and thanking him in almost the same breath on every occasion where there was a great work done or a notable truth expounded.
The man lame from his birth, who lay at the gate Beautiful asking alms, is the one who has not affirmed his spiritual strength through the living Christ. John is Love, and Peter is Faith. These two may be present in the consciousness, and the fulfillment of the Divine Law still lacking. This is because the one asks alms; that is, there is reaching out for that which is within. People expect God to give them something out of heaven as if it were far away. The command is "Look on us." Faith is Spirit, and always right at hand. Love is the very substance of your being. Look upon them—that is, center your attention, concentrate your mind upon these essentials of the spiritual man, manifest the Jesus Christ of Nazareth, and you will make connection between the within and without of understanding, and your ankle-bones will receive strength.
"And his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong." A man's acts are associated with his name, and a quality, peculiar to him, always accompanies the mention of that name. If he has done noble deeds, others do noble deeds when they think of him. If he has been an intellectual genius, his satellites will be found among those who study his works. If he has done miracles in the name of the Most High, "his name through faith in his name" will inspire others to do likewise. So we say, "If Jesus Christ of Nazareth demonstrated the power of God and healed the weak in understanding, I also can do the same."
"Ye shall do these things and greater."
January 11, 1920: Acts 3:1-16
What is the "door of the temple which is called Beautiful"? The "door of the temple which is called Beautiful" is the way which opens to spiritual illumination, — to an understanding of how to lay hold of and to apply spiritual Law.
What does the lame man typify? The lame man here represents a disabled thought, — one that has long been incapably of activity, — inert in the expression of buoyancy, strength and joyousness.
Why does Peter, with John, say "Look on us"? Peter, meaning Faith, and John Love, availed themselves of this manner of gaining the conscious recognition of that which needed their help. The first step in spiritual healing is to awaken the consciousness to that presence of spiritual powers. After this, the attention must be fixed upon Faith and Love. This is concentration.
When Faith, supported by Love, lays hold of a malformed and weakened thought, what results? The thought (the lame man) leaps up, and stands on its own feet. Then it comes forth in its Divine Freedom and Perfection, full of praise and thanksgiving to the heavenly Father for the good which it has so abundantly received.
What is Peter's (Faith's) ready answer to the people (thoughts) who have witnessed this wonderful healing? Peter was very clear and definite in letting it be known that the glory did not belong to him nor to John, but that it was in the name and through the power of Jesus, the Christ, that the Father was able to free and to make whole.
Transcribed by Dan Beckett on 9-10-2013.