Today we are looking into one of my favorite miracles in the bible, a beautiful story of Jesus’ power and love. What started as a practical, ordinary request, ended with a supernatural move of God. So here’s what happened...
Fresh off of Acts 2 and being filled with the Holy Spirit, Peter and John were walking to afternoon prayer when they see a beggar sitting by the gate asking for money. I’m sure lots of people tried to not make eye contact and walked right on past but verse 4 says “ Peter and John looked at him intently”. So first of all we see that they make a point to see him and acknowledge his needs.
Verse 6 says "Peter says “ I don’t have any silver or gold for you. But I’ll give you what I have. In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, get up and walk.”"
Okay, pause. Put yourself in the beggar's shoes for a minute. He’s been lame from BIRTH. It’s all he has known. He’s made his living begging and sits at this same spot every day. Now imagine what must have gone through his mind at that moment when someone is telling him his whole life is about to change in an instant. He wanted a few coins but what they are offering is way more valuable than money. So what does he do?! We see when Peter takes him by the hand BY FAITH he stands and was instantly healed. He jumps and leaps and shouts for joy, causing quite the scene. Everyone is watching. They are in complete awe.
Do you think Peter and John relished in this attention? Or grabbed a quick pic for Facebook? No! Peter uses this opportunity to direct the attention back to Jesus. Not on the beggar, not on the miracle, not on himself or John, but back to Jesus. He uses this opportunity to address some very important points:
1. He confronted them with their sin, and he did not sugar coat it at all. He tells them this miracle was because of Jesus, the same one...“You handed over to be killed. You disowned him,YOU killed him.” Ouch.
2. But he then gives them hope in repentance- verse 19 says “Repent then and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.”
3. Lastly, he gave solid reasons to repent and believe. He talks about the prophecies once foretold by Moses in verse 22, by Samuel in verse 24, and by Abraham in verse 25 all being fulfilled.
So today I want us to think about this: What if they would have kept walking? The beggar would be living the same life, sitting by that same gate, asking for money day in and day out with no hope in sight. The crowds that gathered around in amazement would not have heard about the power of Jesus Christ who can not only perform miracles, but can give each of us eternal life, even the very ones that nailed Him to the cross.
So let’s keep our eyes and ears open, friends, and look for ways to be used by God this week.