Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Cripple Walks and Jumps

Acts 3 tells the story of a crippled beggar who depended on others to carry him to the temple courts every day so he could receive a hand-out from those going into the temple. I probably don't have to tell you all the down side of this man's existence. While others could work for their support, this man could only beg and hope he could collect enough of the meager donations to take care of his daily needs. 

I can visualize those walking by, avoiding eye contact. No doubt there were some that spoke to him, most of them saying something like, "I have no money but I will pray for you."  That's close to what Peter and John said to him when they walked near. However, their message to him brought excitement to the heart of this man who had never walked.  " Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk” Acts 3:6.

The Bible says those who observed all these happenings were filled with wonder and amazement at what had just happened. Scripture also tells us the healed man was walking and jumping and praising God. But noticed what happened next.

11 While the man held on to Peter and John, all the people were astonished and came running to them in the place called Solomon’s Colonnade. 12 When Peter saw this, he said to them: “Fellow Israelites, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? 13 The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus. You handed him over to be killed, and you disowned him before Pilate, though he had decided to let him go. 14 You disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you. 15 You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this. 16 By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has completely healed him, as you can all see. Acts 3:16.

Peter uses this event to let the amazed crowd know the source of healing had come, not from he and John, but from God. Not only that, Peter continued in letting them know they were the ones that had disowned Jesus when he was brought before Pilate. They were the ones who insisted on killing Jesus but God had raised him from the dead. 

I like Peter's statement "By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong."   There is no denying a healing miracle had taken place. The crowded temple courts were buzzing with talk about this cripple who was now walking and jumping. They had all seen it happen. 

Both in Peter's sermon on Pentecost, and now in this story, he gives the message of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus as the power source for all mankind. The message of power the prophets foretold. The Savior, the Messiah, they said would come. Peter and John were living in exciting times when they could show the world such a Savior. Until Jesus returns, we share in those exciting times by sharing the gospel story.


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