The healing of this lame Gentile that comes at the beginning of Paul’s new ministry among the Gentiles is a type of it. Before Paul, Gentiles couldn’t walk in a way that would please God (IThes.4:1) because only Jews could be saved. But this miracle typifies how that had now changed. In time past, if a Jew wanted to walk in a way that pleased God, he had to hear the words of Moses (Deut.11:22). But today, Gentiles must hear Paul, as typified with this lame man.
The Lord also healed a lame man to symbolize His new ministry among the Jews (John 5:2,3). He’d been lame 38 years, something pictured in Deuteronomy 2:1,14. God actually made the Jews wander 40 years until that generation died off (Num.32:13), so why’d Moses focus on 38 of them?
Well, the 40 years the Jews had to wait to enter the Promised Land typified the 40 generations they had to wait to enter the kingdom. Matthew 1:17 says it was 42 generations until Christ came to give them the kingdom, but there was no Israel until the third generation of Jews came along in Jacob, whom God renamed Israel. But instead of receiving their kingdom, the people of Israel crucified Christ, and God was ready to cut them down. But on the cross, the Lord asked God to give them one more year (Lu.13:6-9) when He prayed, “Father, forgive them.” And God did give them an extra year in Acts 1-7. But they stoned Stephen in response at the end of that year.
But at the beginning of that year, Peter healed a lame man to symbolize his ministry among the Jews (Acts 3:2-8), a man who was 41 (Acts 4:22). That would account for the extra year God gave Israel. That’s when God gave Paul a new ministry among the Gentiles, typified by this healing.
These Gentiles worshipped the planets and stars (Acts 14:11,12, and they had ever since Genesis 11:1-4. That was a religious tower with the zodiac on top, designed to help them “reach” heaven by worshipping the stars. That was a perversion of the religion God gave the Gentiles in the stars before the Bible was written. The story of Christ in the stars starts with Virgo to represent the virgin Mary, and ends with Leo to represent Christ reigning as a lion-like king in the kingdom (Rev.5:5). The sphynx, a monument with the head of a woman and the tail of a lion, was built in Egypt to help men remember how to read the circle of the stars.
After the Gentiles forgot how to read the stars, they made themselves priests to sacrifice to the stars, then point to them to tell men what the stars said to do (Acts 14:13). That was another perversion of the religion God gave Gentiles like Adam, Abel and Noah. He told them to sacrifice to Him and look to the message He put in the stars. But the Gentiles perverted that into sacrificing to Jupiter and Mercury, and looking to the zodiac to learn from it. They wouldn’t listen to a preacher who pointed to the Bible to deliver a message from God like Paul did. But this lame man did! That’s how Paul perceived he had faith (Acts 14:9).
Saying the gods had come down in the likeness of men (v.11) is another perversion of God’s gospel in the stars (Phil.2:7). Remember, this lame man couldn’t walk “from his mother’s womb” (v.8). Paul’s mother’s womb was a perversion of the religion God gave the Jews (Gal.1:13-15). This lame man represented how the Gentiles couldn’t walk and please God ever since they perverted the religion God gave them. They called Barnabas “Jupiter” because he was bigger than Paul. (“Paul” means small.) “Garlands” were given to kings, not gods, but the stars taught them that when God came down in the likeness of men, He’d be a king in the kingdom!
God lets people make idols out of the stars (Acts 14:16), even His own people (Hos.4:16,17). He stopped talking to Gentiles, but never stopped witnessing to them (Acts 14:17cf.Ps.19:1-3; 36:6,7).
A video of this sermon is available on YouTube: “A Gentile Who Walked The Walk” Acts 14:8-18