Bible Study: A Gate Called Beautiful

What makes you you ?

The temple in Jerusalem had a number of gates through which visitors could enter. One was called the “Beautiful Gate,” and a miracle took place there after Jesus’ ascension. On an ordinary day, two disciples showed the world who the Savior is and, in the process, revealed what it means to let Christ live through us. Submitting to Jesus doesn’t erase who we are; in fact, it makes us all we can be. And that’s beautiful.

 

READ

Acts 3:1-16

 

BACKGROUND

In the days following Pentecost, the disciples, full of power in the Holy Spirit, shared their faith throughout Jerusalem. The church grew rapidly as they stepped out with the love of Christ.

 

REFLECT

When you have Jesus, you always have treasure to give.

  • Scripture tells us the man at the Beautiful Gate asked Peter and John for a gift, and that they “looked at him intently” (Acts 3:2-4). On being asked for something by a stranger, people often want to turn away. Even if they choose to give, it can feel uncomfortable to make eye contact. But God’s love makes us fearless and bold—not just in actions, but in true human connection. Describe a time His grace empowered you in this way.

  • Peter then said to the beggar, “Look at us” (Acts 3:4). This statement reflects confidence. What role do you think trust played in Peter’s heart during the interaction? Why do you think he wanted the man to look at him and John?

  • Though Peter said he had no money, he told the man, “But what I do have, I give to you.” He then healed the man’s disability (Acts 3:6-8). One of the glorious truths of Christian faith is that everyone who believes in Jesus is rich beyond measure and has everything necessary to walk through life in power. It’s often good to help those in need with material assistance, but what Peter gave the man that day was worth far more than a few coins. How is Peter’s statement—“What I do have, I give to you”—a model for both close relationships and casual interactions?

  • In Greek, beautiful carries the sense of “at the right time,” thereby signifying “ripe” or “perfectly developed.” How do you think Peter knew the moment was right to heal this man? What does your own experience with God show about the connection between beauty and patience?

 

CONTINUING THE STORY

Everyone who believes in Jesus is rich beyond measure and has everything necessary to walk through life in power.

Onlookers were amazed at the two disciples, but Peter quickly pointed them to Jesus.

  • Peter asked the astonished crowd, “Why are you staring at us, as though by our own power or godliness we had made him walk?” (Acts 3:11-12). Proverbs 16:18 tells us pride goes before a fall. What does Peter’s question reveal about dealing with that temptation?

  • The power of Christ brought wellness and rejoicing in this scene. Think of someone in your life you’d like to see “walking and leaping and praising God” (Acts 3:8), whether physically, emotionally, or otherwise. How can you pray for that person right now?

  • Recognizing our power and godliness come from the Lord is freeing. What was Peter freed from when he refused any credit or adulation? What was he freed for?

 

REFLECT

Taking credit for God’s work in your life will eventually lead to disaster. But the more you acknowledge Him and glorify Jesus, the more He will do. And you’ll also have the great privilege of seeing others leaping and praising God.

 

GOING FURTHER

Consider how this study applies to your life.

The Word of God teaches that every believer is an expression of Jesus Christ, and we are each indwelt by His Spirit. Paul wrote, “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me” (Gal. 2:20). That idea carries implications for our sense of personal identity. If every one of us has died and we now live only in the power of the same Lord, what makes us different from each other? It might sound as if personality or the individual self is no longer part of the picture. But that’s not true. The more we allow Jesus to live through us, the more He develops each of us into exactly the perfect and completely unique person we were meant to be.

The more we allow Jesus to live through us, the more He develops each of us into the completely unique person we were meant to be.

  • This story clearly includes both Peter and John. But Peter speaks often and eloquently, while John is silent. What might he have been doing? How do these two examples reflect the power of Christ in believers you know?

  • The concept that we’ve each been crucified and are now “lived in” by Jesus is difficult to understand. Try to explain what this indwelling means in your life. What parts of you are gone? What parts of your life or personality do you see as “Jesus in action”? Consider how those aspects make you special in the body of Christ.

  • At the Beautiful Gate, the power of Christ made a crippled man well, whole, and strong. And two servants of God, submitted to His power, show how the same Lord works in different ways through all His people, making each uniquely beautiful.

 

Illustration by Adam Cruft

Related Topics:  Reading Bible

Related Stories

1 Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the ninth hour, the hour of prayer.

2 And a man who had been lame from his mother's womb was being carried along, whom they used to set down every day at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, in order to beg alms of those who were entering the temple.

3 When he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple, he began asking to receive alms.

4 But Peter, along with John, fixed his gaze on him and said, Look at us!"

5 And he began to give them his attention, expecting to receive something from them.

6 But Peter said, I do not possess silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you: In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene--walk!"

7 And seizing him by the right hand, he raised him up; and immediately his feet and his ankles were strengthened.

8 With a leap he stood upright and began to walk; and he entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God.

9 And all the people saw him walking and praising God;

10 and they were taking note of him as being the one who used to sit at the Beautiful Gate of the temple to beg alms, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.

11 While he was clinging to Peter and John, all the people ran together to them at the so-called portico of Solomon, full of amazement.

12 But when Peter saw this, he replied to the people, Men of Israel, why are you amazed at this, or why do you gaze at us, as if by our own power or piety we had made him walk?

13 The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified His servant Jesus, the one whom you delivered and disowned in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release Him.

14 But you disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked for a murderer to be granted to you,

15 but put to death the Prince of life, the one whom God raised from the dead, a fact to which we are witnesses.

16 And on the basis of faith in His name, it is the name of Jesus which has strengthened this man whom you see and know; and the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect health in the presence of you all.

2 And a man who had been lame from his mother's womb was being carried along, whom they used to set down every day at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, in order to beg alms of those who were entering the temple.

3 When he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple, he began asking to receive alms.

4 But Peter, along with John, fixed his gaze on him and said, Look at us!"

4 But Peter, along with John, fixed his gaze on him and said, Look at us!"

6 But Peter said, I do not possess silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you: In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene--walk!"

7 And seizing him by the right hand, he raised him up; and immediately his feet and his ankles were strengthened.

8 With a leap he stood upright and began to walk; and he entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God.

11 While he was clinging to Peter and John, all the people ran together to them at the so-called portico of Solomon, full of amazement.

12 But when Peter saw this, he replied to the people, Men of Israel, why are you amazed at this, or why do you gaze at us, as if by our own power or piety we had made him walk?

8 With a leap he stood upright and began to walk; and he entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God.

20 I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

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