A Gate Called Beautiful

by Dody Gibson

The third chapter of Acts chronicles the miraculous healing of the lame man. We are told he is brought daily to the temple and laid at the gate, which is called beautiful. It is not a proper name but an adjective used to differentiate it from the many others. It is not certain which entry is referenced, but most believe it was the main gate on the east side giving access to the women’s court.

There was a curved flight of fifteen steps, which ascended to these magnificent doors. Josephus described it as being covered with gold and silver. Majestic bronze doors with extraordinary workmanship in Corinthian brass, very splendid and exceedingly massive and deserving of the label, beautiful. The proper name, however, was the gate of Nicanor. This east side of the temple was the view, which faced the Mount of Olives.

Gates are a setting for many events that unfold in the Scripture. The words of the Lord were to be written on the gates of the house. (Deut 6:9) Hopefully they were inscribed on those where the elders of the city sat in judgment. Some died at a gate, (2 Chron 23:15) and some were honored at a gate. (Est 6:10) Some sought refuge behind them and failed. (Jos 6:1) Others were safe. (Ezek 44:2) Some are wide and some are narrow. (Matt 7:13-14) David waited by two gates where he received the news that Abasalom was dead. (2 Sam 19:24) Sampson carried the gates of the city Gaza to the top of the hill near Hebron some ten miles away. (Jud 16:3) Death is likened to a gate through which we pass from one realm of existence to another. (Ps 107:18) Each of these carries a story of it’s own.

Part of the Revelation, which Jesus revealed to John, was a vision of heaven. It was described in tangible language for the benefit of human comprehension. The city was foursquare and had twelve gates, four on each side. Each gate was a pearl. A gate made of one large pearl is a mystery to contemplate. It is an enigma to ponder but only in this world, as the spiritual world will far exceed the limits of human consciousness.

Pearls are rare and beautiful gems and this author’s favorite. The largest natural ones are about three times the size of a pea. A good oriental specimen can cost over two hundred thousand dollars. What might a ‘gate-sized’ pearl cost and twelve of them?

Jesus said, “I am the door, by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved.” (Jn 10:9) Therefore, He is the gate through whom we all must pass if we are to go to heaven some day. Matthew tells us that a merchant, upon finding and recognizing a pearl of exceptional value, sold all that he had and bought it. Jesus is this pearl of great value. Our Lord then, is the ‘beautiful pearly gate’ that opens into Paradise and the presence of God.

And that’s the Amazing Truth!

Millstadt, IL 62260

Dody Gibson See other articles by Dody Gibson