Acts 4:22


Sgt York’s tractor for use on the home spread

Monday, 24 January 2022

For the man was over forty years old on whom this miracle of healing had been performed. Acts 4:22

Note: You can listen to today’s commentary courtesy of our friends at “Bible in Ten” podcast. (Click Here to listen)

You can also read this commentary, with music, courtesy of our friends at “Discern the Bible” on YouTube. (Click Here to listen), or at Rumble (Click Here to listen).

In the previous verse, the council had found no way of punishing Peter and John, having been worried about the reaction of the people because they all understood that God was the source of the healing. The reason for this is now noted by Luke, saying, “For the man was over forty years old.”

In his usual meticulous fashion, the age of the man is carefully recorded by Luke. This, combined with Acts 3:2, shows the stunning nature of the miracle –

And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb … For the man was over forty years old.

He bore his defect even from before the day of his birth, he was now over forty years old, and he was instantaneously healed of his affliction. The impossibility of what occurred, apart from it being the work of God, was clearly evidenced and noted by the people. No other explanation would suffice. Hence, the next words of Luke are provided, which say, “on whom this miracle.”

As in verse 4:16, rather than the word “miracle,” it is the word sémeion, and is to be translated as “sign.” The event was miraculous, but it also carried with it the intent of identifying Israel’s Messiah. It is a sign because it points directly to this fact. It is a confirmation that Jesus is the Messiah to the house of Israel.

The beggar did not have faith to be healed. In fact, he did nothing. Peter simply saw him and healed him. It was a miracle that is a sign for all of Israel, including the council, to recognize and understand that Christ Jesus is the fulfillment of the prophetic utterances of Scripture, including the words of Isaiah 35 –

“Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,
And the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.
Then the lame shall leap like a deer,
And the tongue of the dumb sing.” Isaiah 35:5, 6

With this understood, the sign is next described as one “of healing.” The word here, iasis, is the noun form – “a healing” – found only in Luke’s writings. It is seen in Luke 13:32, here, and once again in Acts 4:30. It is a word carrying the idea of supernatural healing.

The sign had been performed, and it was one of healing that pointed directly to the work of God in Christ Jesus because it was His name upon which it “had been performed.” There was no consultation with a group of doctors. There was no team of trained medical professionals. There was only the proclamation of the name and Peter extending his hand forth to raise the man. The work was immediate, it was effectual, and it was absolutely complete in its scope. Israel has been presented with the sign as a witness both to and against them.

Life application: As noted, the sign to Israel of the healing of this man is given as a witness that Jesus is the Messiah. But it may extend beyond the immediate application to be a witness of what will someday come to pass in Israel. Israel, as with all people, is a nation born with a defect – sin. It was in them before they were brought forth because of the sin of our first father, Adam.

The man was over forty years old at the time of his healing. The number forty is an important number in Scripture. Bullinger notes “its association with a period of probation, trial, and chastisement.” Further, he says, “It is the product of 5 and 8, and points to the action of grace (5), leading to and ending in revival and renewal (8).”

Israel did, in fact, reject Jesus. They went into a time of exile as was in accord with the words of Scripture that said it would come about for failing to adhere to the words set forth for them as a nation. However, someday Israel will be instantaneously healed when they recognize Jesus as their long-rejected Messiah. This man is given as an object lesson and a witness against them to know and understand their crippled state before God.

The coming words of Acts will show this, but they will include a note against the Gentiles as well (Acts 4:27). Jesus is the One whom the world came against, and it is up to each person to come to Him for healing and restoration. There is no other name given by which this can come about. Be sure to call out to God through the exalted Name above all names and be reconciled to Him. Call out today in the name of JESUS!

Lord God, help us to get out the wonderful word concerning the gospel of Jesus. It has the power to heal the troubled soul and bring man back to a right relationship with You. Give us the strong desire to be willing to speak, and the fortitude to follow through with that desire as well. May it be so, to Your glory. Amen.