Instantly (compare Lk 4:39; 8:44, 55) the man's feet (the term can also mean "tread" or "step") and ankle bones receive strength. Jumping up, he stands for the first time in his life. He tries out his new freedom by walking around; then, in a response natural to one who in faith realizes that he has been touched by God's power, he moves into the court of women and then the court of Israel, walking and jumping, and praising God (compare 2:47). He has become the living embodiment of the messianic age as predicted in Isaiah 35:6, "Then will the lame leap like a deer" (also see Lk 7:22).
Should we expect such miracles today? True, the apostles are no longer with us, and miracles seemed to cluster around them; even in the first century, miraculous signs were not everyday occurrences. But Jesus still is present by his Spirit in the church. So we should not be surprised if we hear reports of miracles, especially where an atmosphere of pervasive unbelief or false religion calls for a power encounter. But a healing miracle in the New Testament sense must have the following marks: It must be an instantaneous and complete deliverance from a grave organic condition. It must occur in response to a direct command in the name of Jesus, and it must be publicly acknowledged as indisputable (Stott 1990:103).
IVP New Testament Commentaries are made available by the generosity of InterVarsity Press.
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