Summary: We see the power of God healing a human life. We see people who have been touched by the power of God touching others. It’s the story of the lame man who begged by the gate called Beautiful. We see a real example of the power of God to heal.
Luke has described the early church by saying, “Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles.” (Acts 2:43). In Acts 2 Luke doesn’t give us any indication what those miraculous signs and wonders may have been. But now, when we come to Acts 3, we have an account of at least one of them, the story of the lame man who was healed at the Beautiful Gate of the Temple.
Evidently Luke has selected this one from a number of miracles, which occurred then, in order that he might teach us something significant. So we need to give it careful attention. Why did Luke choose to chronicle this one particular miracle? I believe that the answer is two-fold; (1) because it was the occasion for a second sermon by Peter, which Luke wants us to hear, and (2) because the miracle and sermon were the cause of the first persecution of the church.
This miracle laid the groundwork for the increasing tension between the infant church and the Jewish religious establishment in the coming weeks. This tension will reach full bloom with the arrest of Peter and John and the death of Stephen, the first Christian to give his life for his faith.
On the Day of Pentecost, power from heaven came down. The power of God turned doubters into disciples. They had received the promise of the Holy Spirit and were clothed with power from on high. But power for what? Did they receive the power of God simply so they could feel good about themselves? Did they receive the power of God to keep it to themselves? No! They received the power of God to energize them to be witnesses to Jesus Christ in a secular society.
The power of the Holy Spirit was for people; to enable the disciples to reach out and touch human need and share the truth of the Gospel of Christ. It’s all about personal caring for people. Pentecost is to enable us to reach out and touch others.
Tonight, we see the power of God healing a human life. We see people who have been touched by the power of God touching others. It’s the story of the lame man who begged by the gate called Beautiful. We see a real example of the power of God to heal. This man was healed physically, but the message of this text is not limited to physical healing in any way. This passage deals with human healing on every level. Here, we will find valuable lessons which I pray will motivate us to find opportunities to minister to hurting people. READ Acts 3:1-8.
What we see before us is a human tragedy. The Scripture tells us that this man was crippled. But more than that, this man was crippled from birth. Think about the tragedy of that. He had never been able to stand and walk, to run and play like the other boys. I’m sure many opportunities were denied him because of his affliction. Now, he’s a grown man and every day friends must carry him to the Temple so he may beg for a living. We can only speculate concerning what effect this must have had on his heart. He could easily have been bitter. There had never been a day in his life when he hadn’t been a burden to somebody. He couldn’t walk; he couldn’t work. All he could do was beg, sit there, and hope that people would have pity on him.
The healing of this man is both literal and symbolic. It’s literal in that for over 40 years this man had suffered from an ailment which made him lame. He was born that way and he had never known the freedom of going anywhere w/o having to ask others to carry him there.
It’s symbolic in that what we see in the life of this man is a picture of the tragedy of the human condition. This man symbolizes for us the reality of tragedy in life. As we look at him, we are reminded of the fact that everywhere we look there is human hurt, human suffering, and human tragedy. Sometimes it manifests itself through a physical affliction such as this man had, but more often it goes unseen to human eyes. For every one who is crippled physically, there are literally tens of thousands who are crippled emotionally. And there are hundreds of thousands who are crippled spiritually. The message of this man is that there are needs to be met in human lives everywhere. And those needs exist in lives that can seem wonderful on the outside
This lame man sat and begged at the gate called "Beautiful." From historical accounts, we know that this gate was an impressive sight. Much of it was made from Corinthian bronze. It was inlaid with ornately decorated gold. As the sun would shine upon it, its glistening could be seen for miles. Yet, sitting under its magnificent beauty was a suffering human being.