Reflecting on Acts 3 1-11

Yes, yes, we really ARE studying Acts 3:1-11 – the story of Peter and John healing a lame beggar at the Beautiful Gate of the Temple – this week. In a few minutes for some of us! [Some notes on the text are added here.] So – here are a few questions we might want to ask ourselves, or discuss in class:

One question we might want to ask ourselves is simply what we think the story is “about.” For instance, if we had to write a title for this story, what would the title be? (“A Lame Man Healed”? “A Healing at the Beautiful Gate”? “Peter and John Heal”? …) Why?

This is really a question about what we’re inclined to emphasize in the story – to see as “the most important thing” about it. So – what DO we emphasize, or see as “the most important thing” about it? Why that?

[More personal, perhaps] What does a story like this tell us? Or, do for us? What makes us say that?

Another way to ask that question above might be: what could we eliminate from this story – say, which details – without making it not this story any more? What do we see as the story’s essential, indispensable elements?

Why do we think that, do we suppose?

And in light of our choices, what happens to the story as we add some of those details back in? What do those details do for the story? What function do they seem to serve, or how do they change the meaning of the story (if they do), or the way we think or feel about the story?

What do we notice about the story now that we didn’t before? Thoughts? Feelings?

Which of the several characters (Peter, John, the man, “they” who bring him to the gate, the people who rush to Solomon’s Porch) do we identify with the most? Why, do we think?

What if we were invited to identify with a different character? Could we? How easily? Would anything need to change to make that possible? What?

What do we notice about this? Thoughts? Feelings?

two women in antique dress reading

Image: “Reading,” Alexander Moravov, 1913, public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

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