Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Acts 3:12

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

As though by our own power - Δυναμει, Miraculous energy.

Or holiness - Η ευσεβειᾳ, Meaning religious attachment to the worship of God. Do not think that we have wrought this miracle by any power of our own; or that any supereminent piety in us should have induced God thus to honor us, by enabling us to work it. Instead of ευσεβειᾳ, holiness, the Syriac of Erpen, Armenian, Vulgate, and some copies of the Itala, have εξουσιᾳ, power or authority; but the first appears to be the legitimate reading.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

When Peter saw it - Saw the people assembling in such multitudes and wondering at the miracle.

He answered - The word “answer,” with us, implies that a question had been asked, or that some subject had been proposed for consideration. But the word is used in a different sense in the Bible. It is often used when no question was asked, but when an occasion was offered for remarks, or when an opportunity was presented to make a statement. It is the same as replying to a thing, or making a statement in regard to some subject, Daniel 2:26; Acts 5:8.

Ye men of Israel - Jews. Compare Acts 2:14.

Why marvel ye at this? - The particular thing which he intended to reprove here was not that they wondered, for that was proper; but that they looked on himself and John as if they had been the authors of this healing. They ought to have understood it. The Jews were sufficiently acquainted with miracles to interpret them and to know whence they proceeded; and they ought not, therefore, to ascribe them to man, but to inquire why they had been performed by God.

Why look ye … - Why do ye fix the eyes with amazement on us, as though we could do this? Why not look at once to God?

By our own power - By any art of healing or by any medicine we had done this.

Or holiness - Piety. As if God had bestowed this on us on account of our personal and eminent piety. It may be remarked that here was ample opportunity for them to establish a reputation of their own. The people were disposed to pay them honor; they might at once have laid claim to vast authority over them; but they refused all such personal honor, and ascribed all to the Lord Jesus. Whatever success may attend the ministers of the gospel, or however much the world may be disposed to do them honor, they should disclaim all power in themselves, and ascribe it to the Lord Jesus Christ. It is not by the talents or personal holiness of ministers, valuable as these are, that people are saved; it is only by the power of God, designed to honor his Son. See 2 Corinthians 3:5-6.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Observe the difference in the manner of working the miracles. Our Lord always spoke as having Almighty power, never hesitated to receive the greatest honour that was given to him on account of his Divine miracles. But the apostles referred all to their Lord, and refused to receive any honour, except as his undeserving instruments. This shows that Jesus was one with the Father, and co-equal with Him; while the apostles knew that they were weak, sinful men, and dependent for every thing on Jesus, whose power effected the cure. Useful men must be very humble. Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but to thy name, give glory. Every crown must be cast at the feet of Christ. The apostle showed the Jews the greatness of their crime, but would not anger or drive them to despair. Assuredly, those who reject, refuse, or deny Christ, do it through ignorance; but this can in no case be an excuse.
Ellen G. White
Early Writings, 192-3

With mighty power the disciples preached a crucified and risen Saviour. Signs and wonders were wrought by them in the name of Jesus; the sick were healed; and a man who had been lame from his birth was restored to perfect soundness and entered with Peter and John into the temple, walking and leaping and praising God in the sight of all the people. The news spread, and the people began to press around the disciples. Many ran together, greatly astonished at the cure that had been wrought. EW 192.1

When Jesus died, the priests thought that no more miracles would be performed among them, that the excitement would die out and the people would again turn to the traditions of men. But lo! right among them the disciples were working miracles, and the people were filled with amazement. Jesus had been crucified, and they wondered where His followers had obtained this power. When He was alive, they thought that He imparted power to them; but when He died, they expected the miracles to cease. Peter understood their perplexity and said to them, “Ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this? or why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk? The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified His Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied Him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let Him go. But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you; and killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses. And His name through faith in His name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know.” EW 192.2

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