Summary: This message looks at the reality of the man healed at the Gate Called Beautiful and is a part of our 3:16 series.
It was a day, just a day like any other day. His brothers had gotten him out of bed and gotten him dressed. And on their way to work they carried him to his usual spot at the temple gate. It was just a day, the sky wasn't any bluer, the birds didn't sing any louder, the sun didn't shine any brighter, it was just a day. Just a day, like any other day. And yet before it was finished it would be unlike any other day in his life.
It was just a day. And as he lay with his shrivelled twisted legs extended in front of him he thought of all the days he had laid in front of the temple gate and how those days stretched out like an endless horizon before him.
It was just a day. And he looked down at the useless limbs stretched out on the blanket in front of him. They were his, but they weren't even a part of him, he had never felt them, never moved them. Never ran as a boy, never walked as a man. And today was just a day, no better and no worse than all the other days that had made up the life of this poor crippled beggar. But without his knowledge and without his consent today would become the day he would never forget. And today would take him from being a beggar destined for an obscure life and obscure death, and would propel him into immortality. Who was he? We don't know. The scriptures reveal nothing about his life up to this day, and nothing about his life after this day.
But today, this day, this ordinary day would be written about by a doctor and read about by millions upon millions of people all over the world. The man and the day are written about in Acts chapter 3:16 .
This is week two of our 3:16 series, last week we started with the 3:16 that people are most familiar with, John 3:16 and for the next ten weeks we are going to be bouncing around the Old and New Testament looking at various 3:16s throughout the Bible. In this case it involves the first healing attributed to the early church. Peter and John have gone to the temple for prayer and outside of the gates they meet and heal a man who we are told was lame from birth.
Well, the healing attracted a crowd and Peter sees a great opportunity to preach and the sermon has the same theme as the one he preached on the day of Pentecost. God sent his Son, You killed him, say you’re sorry. And for proof he offers up these words: Acts 3:16 “Through faith in the name of Jesus, this man was healed—and you know how crippled he was before. Faith in Jesus’ name has healed him before your very eyes.”
The people who Acts 3:16 was originally addressed to witnessed what happened that day, and that’s where we are going this morning.
What a day. A day that would never be forgotten. The story starts with these words; Acts 3:1-2 Peter and John went to the Temple one afternoon to take part in the three o’clock prayer service. As they approached the Temple, a man lame from birth was being carried in.
The first thing we discover is that 1) -This Man Had a Problem. Here was a man with a problem, he was a cripple. This wasn't a subject open to discussion. It wasn't debatable, it wasn't abstract or iffy, instead it was definite. A man lame from birth.
It wasn't his fault that he was lame. Sometimes our misfortunes have only one person to blame and that is us. We smoke and die of lung cancer, hey don't stand there shaking your fist at God demanding "how could you do this to me." you're paddling your own canoe. You abuse alcohol and get cirrhosis of the liver or drive your family away, your fault. Commit adultery and your spouse leaves you, don't blame everyone else ok.
But sometimes it isn’t. I have a good friend how never had a drink and has been fighting for his life since his liver betrayed him. I’ve met folks who were good spouses, maybe not perfect spouses but good spouses and they were betrayed by their partners. And as far as we know it wasn't this man's fault that he was a cripple.
And as far as we know it wasn't the fault of anyone else either. Sometimes there are others who are responsible for our problems. We know for instance that children who are born to people who smoke or drink, or take drugs during their pregnancy are more apt to have problems then other babies. Sometimes physical abuse will occur, or an accident will happen for which someone else is to blame.