At Pentecost, around 3,000 souls were saved. Luke says …… they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. (Acts 2: 42-43). Far from the bird’s eye view, this lesson zooms in on the healing of a single man and the glory it brought to the name of Jesus.
Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour.
It is significant to mention that Peter and John are not going to the temple at the time of sacrifice. The ultimate sacrifice, the once and for-all payment for sin, has been made through the blood of a crucified Christ. Peter and John don’t need to be at the temple for sacrifice, but they are continuing in prayer. The power of the Holy Spirit gives us the faith to talk directly to God through the powerful name of Jesus. We communicate, share our emotions, discuss our concerns, and find direction in prayer. We praise, thank, and intercede for others in prayer. Daniel prayed three times a day - morning, noon, and evening. Jesus taught his followers not only how to pray, And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. (Matthew 6:5-8). He also gave them a prayer model (commonly known as The Lord’s Prayer -Matthew 6:9-13). Prayer strengthens our faith and our witness. They were ready to act when God directed them because they stayed faithful in prayer.
And a certain man lame from his mother's womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple;
In our modern society, almsgiving has been replaced with the government handling the needs of the less fortunate through assistance programs that use tax dollars. The taxes continually increase, as do the poor and disabled. While it is worthwhile to debate the pros and cons of why the church removed itself from this role, God hasn’t changed His mind about His people caring for the poor. Alms means more than just giving money. It was love in action (charity), empathy (having pity on the plight of others), and mercy (favor and compassion). He that oppresseth the poor reproacheth his Maker: but he that honoureth him hath mercy on the poor. (Proverbs 14:31). This explains why the lame were brought to the temple gates. It was here that they would expect to find people who would have compassion, wisdom, and mercy. Those in need surround the church every day. Are we abundant with compassion, wisdom, and mercy?
Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms. And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us. And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them.
There’s a wide chasm between what the lame man needed and what he expected to receive. He no doubt desired the means to make it through another day. He would remain in the same condition, with the same to look forward to, for the remainder of his life until death brought relief. But Peter sees a human being with a need, and he knows his Savior has an infinite supply. “Look on us.” It’s as if Peter is saying, “Boy, do I have some good news for you!” Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.
First, Peter admits that he and John have absolutely no ability in themselves to do anything more than the crowds of people that have passed him by over and over again. The difference after the arrival of the Holy Spirit is that they have been given access to the very throne of God because of Jesus. “Rise up and walk.” The crippled man didn’t need a handout, he needed healing. Silver and Gold were not going to change his situation, but the name of Jesus could and did. He needed a miracle of God to make him whole. What do we have? Whatever it is we should fasten our eyes on using it to bring validity and attention to the powerful, healing name of Jesus.
And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.
They helped him up and stuck around to see the end result. The physician Luke describes the healing. Isn’t his reaction the same for all who encounter God on a personal basis? They first learn to stand on the promises of God and then leap for joy at the healing of their relationship with God. From this day forward the now, not lame man, will walk everywhere he goes. No more being carried or left at the mercy of those around him. He is mobile, independent, and enjoying the blessing of a mighty God. All healing, all good gifts, salvation, reconciliation, sanctification, and life everlasting comes through the power of the name above all names, Jesus Christ. Praising God should naturally follow.
And all the people saw him walking and praising God: And they knew that it was he which sat for alms at the Beautiful gate of the temple: and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him. And as the lame man which was healed held Peter and John, all the people ran together unto them in the porch that is called Solomon's, greatly wondering.
How many times had the crowd passed him? When there is nothing you can do to change a situation, it is easy to put it out of your mind. He was, no doubt in their minds, a blemish on the beautiful gate. An obstacle perhaps to walk around and ignore. On that day, however, he was the most beautiful sight in the temple. He had been restored by the power of Christ. His leaping and his praising drew the callous and the hard-hearted to hear the message that Peter and John came to the temple that day to bring. Every straight-backed and able-bodied man entering the temple that day was far more disabled than the crippled man who had been healed. They were literally the walking dead. In the flesh, they were living, but without the blood of Jesus, they were spiritually dead. The gospel is infinitely more important than physical healing. The healing came for two reasons: the love of God for the man who was crippled, and to save as many as would believe because of the miracle they witnessed that day.
How often have you entered the house of God believing that the pain that you were carrying in was beyond God’s power to heal? Where are you placing your confidence? Have you hardened your heart and stopped listening to the true message of God? The gospel will take us from death into life. It will cause you to leap with joy and praise the Lord. It will fill your heart with love and compassion for the multitudes around you who are powerless to help themselves but who need to experience an encounter with the living God and receive their strength through the powerful name of Christ.
Thank you for studying with us! God bless!