According to Acts, Peter and John arrive at the Temple at the “hour of prayer” (Acts 3:1). When a disabled man at the entrance asks for alms from the disciples, Peter heals him “in the name of Jesus of Nazareth” (3:6). Not only does the formerly lame man begin to walk, but he leaps to his feet, and then continues “leaping and praising God” (3:8). These references to “leaping” (ἅλλομαι; hallomai) may seem like an odd detail until readers return to Israel’s Scriptures. The prophet Isaiah describes a scene of miraculous healing that marks God’s salvation for Zion. The lame man leaps as a sign that the prophetic promises to Israel in Isaiah’s day are being reaffirmed through the healing powers of Yeshua.

As Peter and John were traveling to the Temple, “a man lame (χωλός; cholós) from birth was being carried… [to] the gate of the Temple” (Acts 3:2). After the disciples heal the man and he arises, Luke notes that “his feet and ankles were made strong immediately and leaping up (ἐξάλλομαι; exállomai) he stood and began to walk. And he entered the Temple with them, walking and leaping (ἅλλομαι; hallomai) and praising God” (3:7-8). The man’s repeated leaping recalls the prophecy of Isaiah, which promises the people of Israel, “[God] will come and save you. The eyes of the blind will be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped. The lame (χωλός; cholós) will leap (ἅλλομαι; hallomai) like a gazelle, and the tongue of the mute sing for joy” (Isa 35:4-6 LXX). When the lame man leaps in Acts, readers are reminded that God is working through Jesus’ disciples to reaffirm the salvation wrought for Israel in Isaiah’s day. 

The broader context of Isaiah’s words also resonates with the narrative in Acts. Just as Luke notes that the healed man’s once frail “feet and ankles” were “strengthened,” before Isaiah describes the lame leaping, the prophet declares, “Strengthen the weak hands and feeble knees” (Isa 35:3 LXX). Though the Greek terms in Isaiah and Acts are different, the theme of strengthened limbs alongside the “lame” (χωλός) person’s “leap” (ἅλλομαι) secures the link between the texts. More, Isaiah goes on to describe a highway by which Israel’s exiles will return home called the “Way (ὁδὸς; hodòs) of Holiness” (Isa 35:8 LXX). Thus, it’s fitting that Luke refers to the Jesus movement as the “Way” (ὁδός; hodòs) throughout Acts (9:2; 19:9, 23; 24:14, 22; cf. 16:17; 18:26). These linguistic parallels show that, for Luke, the miraculous events that Isaiah promises for Israel’s returned exiles are happening again in the healing work of Jesus’ followers.

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56 COMMENTS

  1. It is early Sunday morning in the US. My wife and I are getting ready to attend Bible study before services this morning. I have never understood why all the people Jesus healed "walked" and this man "jumped". Thank you very, very much for the explanation!! I will bring the finding up this morning and mention how it came to me. Thank you Dr. Schaser.
    • “Way (ὁδὸς; hodòs) of Holiness” is also a reference to "the way/ road" (הדרך; Ha derech), a common idiomatic expression for Torah observance. When one repents or makes teshuva, one is healed and returns to Torah obedience following the example of Yeshua Ha Meshiach the living Torah.
  2. I was raised in a tradition of viewing Luke as a Gentile writing to a Gentile but here Luke's deliberate word choices to show the fulfillment of Isaiah's prophecy parallels the word choices in the "most Jewish of the Gospels" Matthew. Thank you Dr Schaser for challenging us to re-read the scriptures!
    • Good point, Paul. Yes, there's little internal evidence to suggest that the author of Luke was a Gentile, rather than a Jew. Church tradition often teaches that Luke was a Gentile, but the Gospel itself reflects some very Jewish ideas and interpretation. Thanks for studying with us.

      + More answers (2)
  3. As an uninhibited Aussie, if my feet and ankles were suddenly strengthened and empowered in that manner, l would be leaping and praising my Lord for freedom !
  4. I am of the same mind that if God healed me I would be leaping and singing praises to our Lord and Saviour. I am enjoying and learning so much from these bible studies. It has enriched my spiritual walk with Jesus in understanding and learning the Torah. Thank you for your time and energy.
  5. This is fascinating, thank you very much. The teachings that are brought, bring to life for me the bible. That, so long ago, the Jews were EXPECTING these evidences from the prophets of the Messiah, that He alone could do. Thank you
  6. Greetings Dr. Nick, from Canada. In my own personal ministry, I am continually "Helping Believers make the Connection". This is a perfect example to show that the Scriptures are not just comprised of "The New Testament" as many churches seem to teach and many Christians believe; but that there us a 'connection' to a great foundation and cornerstone... called the Tanakh, upon which, and through which, we can see God's FULL story of and for humanity. Thanks for pointing out this terrific example of why the so called "Old Testament" is so important. Blessings!!
  7. I am glad to Dr. Schaser for this spiritual insight. Majority of the Christian especially from Nigeria , in fact the vast Christian believers have the notion that , by reading of the Old Testament veil covers your eyes as postulated by our brother Paul in one of his epistles. And that SABBATH WAS ABOLISHED. If I may ask , is this event not one of the instances of could affirm that Yeshua came so that the law could be fulfilled. In other words so that what was written in the Old Testament ( though wrongfully) might be confirmed by him?
    • This is an absurdly false claim about the attitude of Nigerians to the Old Testament. Could you be referring to a Nigeria in a different planet? Over 80 million Nigerians are Christians and there are many different denominations. How did you come about this very absurd and reprehensibly false claim?
    • Jesus is the lord of the sabbath not vise vesa Mat12:8, luk 6:5, mak2:28. you were not made for the sabbath but the sabbath was made for you sir. its your day to rest but you cant be condemned because you didn't rest.
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