The Beautiful Gate
The Beautiful Gate was the name given to one of the gates of the Temple in Jerusalem. It is usually identified as the passage from the court of the Gentiles to the court of the women, which, despite its name, permitted both (Israelite) men and women. The meaning of the term was actually that it was the courtyard of the Temple where women could also enter i.e. the Temple complex became more restrictive as one got closer to the Most Holy Place, from almost everyone permitted in the court of the Gentiles, then successively to Israelite men and women, then men, Levites, priests, to the High Priest.
Adjacent to the women's court were chests where people could make offerings to support the operation of the Temple. Perhaps the most well-known reference to that is when Jesus Christ was there and witnessed the offering made by a poor, but very faithful, widow:
"And He sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the multitude putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. And a poor widow came, and put in two copper coins, which make a penny. And He called His disciples to Him, and said to them, "Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. For they all contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, her whole living." (Mark 12:41-44 RSV)
"That gate of the Temple which is called Beautiful"
With the Beautiful Gate being the place where many people with the means to make offerings passed by, it naturally attracted people who sought charity for themselves. It was there however that a lame man received something more valuable than money from Peter and John.
"Now Peter and John were going up to the Temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour [see Hours Of The Day]. And a man lame from birth was being carried, whom they laid daily at that gate of the Temple which is called Beautiful to ask alms of those who entered the Temple. Seeing Peter and John about to go into the Temple, he asked for alms. And Peter directed his gaze at him, with John, and said, "Look at us." And he fixed his attention upon them, expecting to receive something from them.
But Peter said, "I have no silver and gold, but I give you what I have; in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk." And he took him by the right hand and raised him up; and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong. And leaping up he stood and walked and entered the Temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God." (Acts 3:1-8 RSV)
The people who witnessed the miraculous healing were as astounded as the healed man himself. But Peter (see also Peter's Ministry) and John (see also Apocalypse) made very clear by what means the healing happened. It was through the way of true worship that was written in the Scriptures from ancient times.
"And all the people saw him walking and praising God, and recognized him as the one who sat for alms at the Beautiful Gate of the Temple; and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.
While he clung to Peter and John, all the people ran together to them in the portico called Solomon's, astounded. And when Peter saw it he addressed the people, "Men of Israel, why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we had made him walk? The God of Abraham and of Isaac and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified his servant Jesus, whom you delivered up and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release him. But you denied the Holy and Righteous One, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, and killed The Author of Life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses. And his name, by faith in his name, has made this man strong whom you see and know; and the faith which is through Jesus has given the man this perfect health in the presence of you all.
And now, brethren, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers. But what God foretold by the mouth of all the Prophets, that his Christ should suffer, he thus fulfilled. Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the time for establishing all that God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old. Moses said, 'The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet from your brethren as he raised me up. You shall listen to him in whatever he tells you. And it shall be that every soul that does not listen to that prophet shall be destroyed from the people.'
And all the prophets who have spoken, from Samuel and those who came afterwards, also proclaimed these days. You are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant which God gave to your fathers, saying to Abraham, 'And in your posterity shall all the families of the earth be blessed.' God, having raised up his servant, sent him to you first, to bless you in turning every one of you from your wickedness." (Acts 3:9-26 RSV)
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How To Be A True Christian - Lesson 1
How To Be A True Christian - Lesson 2
How To Be A True Christian - Lesson 3
How To Be A True Christian - Lesson 4
How To Be A True Christian - Lesson 5
How To Be A True Christian - Lesson 6
How To Be A True Christian - Lesson 7
How To Be A True Christian - Lesson 8
How To Be A True Christian - Lesson 9
How To Be A True Christian - Lesson 10