“One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon. 2 Now a man who was lame from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. 3 When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. 4 Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!” 5 So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them. 6 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.” 7 Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. 8 He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. 9 When all the people saw him walking and praising God, 10 they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.” Acts 3.1-10
It’s not often in my ministry context that I see physical healing miracles. I know that some experience this on a frequent basis in particular churches in the USA and especially in parts of the world where people are more willing to believe in the supernatural. We have access to great health care and most Christians simply go to the doctor rather than praying for a miraculous healing immediately.
However, in this instance, while Peter and John are practicing their habit of ”going up to the temple at the time of prayer — at three in the afternoon,” they come upon a man who had been lame since birth. Now the people have seen this episode before from Jesus. Many of his healings and miracles happened around the temple. Peter and John’s activity at this moment is reminiscent of this. They are following in the footsteps of the Master and God is merciful enough to allow these miracles to continue through the disciples.
The lame man, who was at the temple gate called Beautiful, and was put there daily to beg ”from those going into the temple courts,” asked Peter and john for money. Peter stops and says, ”Look at us.” An odd statement. Something you might say to a child when giving instruction. He might have also said ”pay attention” or ”watch out” or ”beware.” The man looked at Peter who 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.” Now wouldn’t this be fantastic to see? Wouldn’t it be even more amazing if we had the faith to continue the healings today? The man who was healed continued on into the temple with Peter and John and his reaction is priceless — he was walking and jumping and praising God!
Two things stand out to me in this passage. First, why not pray and expect miracles to happen? The same God who raised Jesus lives in us! And second, when miracles do happen, let’s give God all our praise. Even if we might look foolish to others.
When the people saw the man who was healed they were ”filled with wonder.” Have we lost our wonderment in the works of God? Have we floundered the faith required to see miracles happen? Why not catch the spirit of the early disciples who walked as Jesus walked and made miracles happen?
“O Lord God, I want to be filled with awe and wonder. I want to see your mighty works in my midst. And yet, I often see your hand moving in incredible ways. You are here and you are near. You Kingdom is among us, with us, surrounding us. Help us walk in the knowledge of your closeness that we might sense your power and by faith ask you to do amazing things. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen