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1One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer--at three in the afternoon. 2Now a man crippled 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. 3When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. 4Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, "Look at us!" 5So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them.
6Then Peter said, "Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk." 7Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. 8He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. 9When all the people saw him walking and praising God, 10they 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.
In Acts 3 we see a fascinating display of how God’s supernatural life and power is displayed in the lives of ordinary people. In case you don’t think these are ordinary people, you only have to go back perhaps a mere two months in the lives of the disciples to see them broken and scattered.
The outpouring of the Holy Spirit occurs just 10 days after the ascension of Jesus and results in 3000 people coming to faith in Christ.
Acts chapter two concludes with the church witnessing many wonders and miraculous signs done by the apostles.
The church continues to meet in the “temple courts” and break bread in their homes together.
We don’t know the exact day of this encounter in the temple courts, because the bible simply says, “one day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer.”
But we know it was the practice of the early church to meet there. It is in this context that a “divine appointment” takes place with a man crippled from birth.
The passage says “he was being carried to the temple gate” which means that they probably passed by him as they were going toward the gate of the temple themselves.
Our passage says that when he “saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money.”
He wanted something. But Peter and John didn’t give him what we was asking for. The man only had faith and desire to perpetuate his current condition and situation. It was as if he was asking, “Help me survive in this world one more day.”
But Peter and James saw something else. Peter asks the man to look at him.
People who beg or ask for handouts are used to getting looks of scorn or impersonal giving. In fact, they find it somewhat hard to look you straight in the eyes because of their need and their shame.
" 5So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them.
The man gave them his attention. The Greek indicates that his expectation was for a “large gift” from Peter and John.
Sadly, many of us haven’t even come to the place in our walk with God where we really expect something from God. Yet this man shows simple faith, even if he was expecting the wrong thing.
Too often we settle for much less than God wants to give us, and our low expectations often rob us of God’s best. God
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