Hopelessness from seemingly unsurmountable circumstances cause our faces to fall. Our eyes only look down at our feet. This physical action comes from an inward feeling of brokenness. Because we feel we are broken, we don’t feel worth, value or the significance to do anything. We cannot bear to look into the eyes of others who have hope and seem to be well and have it altogether. There might be a shred of humble pride holding us up enough so others will not know our struggle. We try to hide it and ignore it. Then one day it becomes a way of life. We give up. We accept the struggle. We don’t ask for anything else but help to get by for each day.
Then Jesus, with the Power of His Holy Spirit working in His disciples, enters our circumstance with His Holy compassion. The Name of Jesus changes everything! At first, we do not and can not believe it. Why bother? We think we’re getting by the way we are. We’ve had this problem since birth. We know how to deal with life as it is. But God has other plans.
ACTS—God’s Acts Through His Disciples
Acts 3, The Message
1-5 One day at three o’clock in the afternoon, Peter and John were on their way into the Temple for prayer meeting. At the same time there was a man crippled from birth being carried up. Every day he was set down at the Temple gate, the one named Beautiful, to beg from those going into the Temple. When he saw Peter and John about to enter the Temple, he asked for a handout. Peter, with John at his side, looked him straight in the eye and said, “Look here.” He looked up, expecting to get something from them.
6-8 Peter said, “I don’t have a nickel to my name, but what I do have, I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk!” He grabbed him by the right hand and pulled him up. In an instant his feet and ankles became firm. He jumped to his feet and walked.
8-10 The man went into the Temple with them, walking back and forth, dancing and praising God. Everybody there saw him walking around and praising God. They recognized him as the one who sat begging at the Temple’s Gate Beautiful and rubbed their eyes, astonished, scarcely believing what they were seeing.
11 The man threw his arms around Peter and John, ecstatic. All the people ran up to where they were at Solomon’s Porch to see it for themselves.
Turn to Face God
12-16 When Peter saw he had a congregation, he addressed the people:
“Oh, Israelites, why does this take you by such complete surprise, and why stare at us as if our power or piety made him walk? The God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, the God of our ancestors, has glorified his Son Jesus. The very One that Pilate called innocent, you repudiated. You repudiated the Holy One, the Just One, and asked for a murderer in his place. You no sooner killed the Author of Life than God raised him from the dead—and we’re the witnesses. Faith in Jesus’ name put this man, whose condition you know so well, on his feet—yes, faith and nothing but faith put this man healed and whole right before your eyes.
17-18 “And now, friends, I know you had no idea what you were doing when you killed Jesus, and neither did your leaders. But God, who through the preaching of all the prophets had said all along that his Messiah would be killed, knew exactly what you were doing and used it to fulfill his plans.
19-23 “Now it’s time to change your ways! Turn to face God so he can wipe away your sins, pour out showers of blessing to refresh you, and send you the Messiah he prepared for you, namely, Jesus. For the time being he must remain out of sight in heaven until everything is restored to order again just the way God, through the preaching of his holy prophets of old, said it would be. Moses, for instance, said, ‘Your God will raise up for you a prophet just like me from your family. Listen to every word he speaks to you. Every last living soul who refuses to listen to that prophet will be wiped out from the people.’
24-26 “All the prophets from Samuel on down said the same thing, said most emphatically that these days would come. These prophets, along with the covenant God made with your ancestors, are your family tree. God’s covenant-word to Abraham provides the text: ‘By your offspring all the families of the earth will be blessed.’ But you are first in line: God, having raised up his Son, sent him to bless you as you turn, one by one, from your evil ways.”
FOR GOD’S GLORY AND STORY…
When Peter saw he had crowd, he was also prompted by the Holy Spirit to make the most of this opportunity to tell the Truth of what just occurred. “Faith in Jesus’ name put this man, whose condition you know so well, on his feet—yes, faith and nothing but faith put this man healed and whole right before your eyes.” Peter took no credit. Impetuous Simon now Peter, the “Rock”, had learned his lessons about humble obedience well.
Peter, full to overflowing with God’s Holy Spirit, preaches the bottom line, in Jesus Name for the glory of God, “Now it’s time to change your ways! Turn to face God so he can wipe away your sins, pour out showers of blessing to refresh you, and send you the Messiah he prepared for you, namely, Jesus.”
Peter, from personal experiences with Jesus, now has a powerful testimony! “God, having raised up his Son, sent him to bless you as you turn, one by one, from your evil ways.”
Yes, there was more than one reason to heal a crippled man in front of the Temple Gate that day, in Jesus Name, for the Glory of God. This is yet another “act” of God in the lives of His disciples so people will come to know that Jesus came to save them from their sins.
Believe and be saved.
There is always more to the story than the people in the story. It is always all about You! Your Word was written to tell about Your love, compassion, mercy and grace through salvation provided by You, dear Jesus! To You be the Glory and praise for all You have done to heal my brokenness, save my soul, renew my spirit and restore the joy of Your salvation in me. Yes, To YOU be the glory! I love you, Lord with all my heart, mind and soul. Thank you for loving me the way your do. And I’m dancing in the Temple of my heart…
In Jesus Name, For His Glory, Amen. I believe.