Summary: First, it is only by faith in Jesus Christ than any of us will ever become more like Him. It is all about that faith. It is all about trusting and believing and moving forward knowing that Jesus is all we need. Second, when we enlist the help of Jesus, H
ALL ABOUT THAT FAITH
INTRODUCTION… Bible Game Show at NBCC “lame” (p)
The other weekend we had a gathering on Sunday Evening that we call the NBCC Family Reunion. It is a time when people from all 3 services get together. We plan different events throughout the year to foster fellowship and help us meet one another. The last Family Reunion we had we planned a Bible game show. In one round of the game show, the contestants were listing off miracles of Jesus. The contestants were doing an excellent job. They mentioned lepers being healed. They mentioned walking on water. Several contestants mentioned the people that Jesus healed that were crippled or paralyzed. After listing 2 or 3 of those, I remarked that we were “done with the lame stories.”
If I remember correctly, this threw one of our contestants off because he could not figure out how any miracle Jesus performed could be considered lame. All miracles that Jesus did are amazing and powerful and point directly to God. What miracle of Jesus could possibly be lame?
Lame has two definitions I guess. The urban dictionary (urbandictionary.com), my go to source for all things slang defines “lame” as “just plain stupid, un-original, someone who is not funny, something not cool, someone who just doesn’t get it, or something boring, or unadventurous.” This morning I will be asking you a question, but I am not asking you where you are “just plain stupid, un-original, not funny, not cool, not getting it, boring or unadventurous.”
This morning when I ask you a question and it contains the word “lame” I am speaking more of the classic definition (dictionary.com) which means “an injury or illness or being feeble.” When I ask this question though, I am not necessarily thinking about physical injury or physical illness or being physically feeble.
I am thinking about areas of our lives where sin has made us spiritually sick.
I am thinking about decisions we have made that have impacted our faith and made us doubt.
I am thinking about temptations and addictions that have turned into sin habits.
I am thinking about spiritual disciplines we no longer practice and we are feeble in those areas.
I am thinking about sins we have that are dragging us down and away from God regularly.
Those are the kinds of things I want us to think about when I ask the question.
QUESTION: Where are you lame?
Our Bible passage today centers on two of the apostles and the adventure they had one day heading to
the temple. Peter and John were heading to the Temple to pray as was their custom. Most of these early Christians were people converted from Judaism, so they often followed Jewish practices. They were on their way to the temple to pray. I am sure they also saw this as a great opportunity to preach. What better place to preach the Word than at a place where all the devout Jews would be? Everyone would be there, in the temple, ready to pray. It was a great place to spread the Word about Jesus. I am sure that came up in their conversation as they went along.
As they were walking, they entered the Temple through one of the main gates. There were several ways to enter the Temple. And the crowds poured into all of them. The two disciples were walking and just following the crowds into the Temple. They entered through the gate called Beautiful. It was the most popular gate to go into. It was the largest gate and was overlaid with bronze from Corinth—the gate was really a work of art.
In ancient times, poor beggars often were found by rich people's houses as well as by highways and anywhere else many people would pass. Not much has changed if you drive around in Tampa these days. They were especially found near the temple gates. They wanted to be where the people were at so they could get help. This beggar had been crippled all his life. He had grown up unable to care for himself. One thing we must note about this beggar is that, unlike the cripple at the pool of Bethesda whom we read about in John 7, this beggar had friends or family or someone who would carry him places. The text tells us that he was carried to this beautiful temple gate daily and placed there to beg from people. Why do you think the beggar went to the temple gate? He knew that those coming to the temple to worship would probably be in a state of great mental holiness and so they would be generous toward people like him. How could a person truly worship without showing mercy to a miserable beggar? How could someone resist tossing him a coin or two? In addition, the beggar knew that giving alms was considered to be admirable and praiseworthy, especially to pious Jews. So he went daily to the temple gates and, as he thought they would, worshipers would toss small coins to him as they went into the temple to pray.