Peter and John went to pray, they met an old man on the way…. How many of you started singing the song from Sunday school? This old classic has been in my head the last few days, and as I was singing the tune in the shower, I felt the Lord ask me to read the story in its entirety. I grew up singing the song about two apostle’s that met an old man on their journey. They prayed for him, and he was healed and went walking and leaping and praising God. Well, this is the story in a very tight nutshell, but after reading in more detail, God revealed three thoughts to me that I want to share with you today, but first, here is the story of Peter and John.
Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. And a man lame from birth was being carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple that is called the Beautiful Gate to ask alms of those entering the temple. Seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked to receive alms. And Peter directed his gaze at him, as did John, and said, “Look at us.” And he fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them. But Peter said, “I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!”And he took him by the right hand and raised him up, and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong. And leaping up, he stood and began to walk, and entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God.And all the people saw him walking and praising God, and recognized him as the one who sat at the Beautiful Gate of the temple, asking for alms. And they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.
Acts 1 tells us that we will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon us. Peter walked in that authority and knew with all his heart that the power of the Holy Spirit was living inside of him. In this passage of Peter and John, I thought to myself, “how often am I the good Christian that picks up the cripple and just sits him by the beautiful gate day after day?” It was a good deed that people took the time to get the cripple to the gate, but what Peter and John offered him was beyond a good deed; it was the ultimate gift of encountering the healing touch of Jesus Christ Himself. Not only did he receive a gift of healing, but he did not have to sit on the “outside” anymore, he got to go in walking and leaping and PRAISING GOD!
“Look at us!” was the first thing Peter and John said to the cripple man. The second thing God revealed to me in this passage is the simplicity of the gospel. We do not need to overcomplicate ministry. Ministry is just finding a need and filling it. These two men found a need, a man who couldn’t walk outside the beautiful gate, and they simply said, “Look at us” and “in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!” The did not have to overcomplicate this because they knew it wasn’t in their own strength, words, touch, or song that had the power to heal this man, they knew it was the power of God living inside of them. Sometimes we must stop overcomplicating the message and thinking it is in our own strength, and believe in the authority that God has given by His Name.
Lastly, this passage mentions a form of money or alms as they called it in that day, three separate times. In the beginning, the man was expecting alms, then Peter and John said, I have no silver and gold, and then at the end the people were amazed that the man asking for alms and was healed. I believe that this was brought to attention to remind all of us, that God wants to give us more than we expect sometimes. We may not have silver and gold, but we do have the name of Jesus Christ!! We have more to offer then money, food, and clothing, we have Christ himself and His power living inside of us. He is the great Provider, Counselor, Prince of Peace, Healer, Creator, Ruler, and Friend. He is the ultimate gift and when we share Him, that is when we see the world change. We still need to be ones who provide food, money and clothing, this is important too, but don’t just stop there, let God give them more than they expected!
Let us all be a people who do not just place a man at the gate, but to help him enter it. To know the authority that we carry, and trust in God’s good and perfect plan. To help people be blown away by the presence of the Almighty God and be a people that believes in the Power of His Name!
One thought on “There is Power”
How easy it would have been to just give money, and feel good about it….or provide a lunch for the guy, and feel good also. Both acceptable and good but they saw a bigger need and God provided a miracle. Great insight Emily