Summary: When the spirit of God begins to move in our lives, sometimes we end up getting ahead of God which creates some pretty big questions.
Up until this point, when it came to performing miracles, it had been the Jesus show. He was the one healing people, casting out demons, and feeding thousands with just a few loaves of bread and a couple fish. Most of the disciples throughout these different situations had been skeptical for the most part but a few at different points even tried to perform a miracle on their own but were unable to because of their lack of faith.
Now though, since the time that Jesus ascended to heaven and left the disciples, they have gotten off their butts and obeyed Jesus. They have prepared to be used by God by hanging out in His presence and praying. And the Holy Spirit has come upon them in power at Pentecost just as Jesus had promised them many times.
When the spirit came, it attracted many, many people to come and see what was going on and the disciples professed Christ in word and deed. Throughout the rest of chapter 2 we have a picture of the words that one of the disciples professed. Peter gets up in front of everyone and shouts to the crowd, outlining to them what the Old Testament taught about Jesus, how Jesus had been killed on the cross but now was risen from the dead. It was so powerful that Acts 2:41 tells us about 3,000, think about that number, 3,000, believed, got baptized, and were added to the church that day.
As far as the deeds that they used to express the love of Christ we don’t have much recorded here. Acts 2:43 tells us “the apostles preformed many miraculous signs and wonders” but they don’t give us details. Because of the lack of detail that Luke provided, we should sit up and take notice of the fact that in Acts 3, Luke starts off with a very detailed account of a man being healed some time after Pentecost.
Let’s open our Bibles to that story in Acts 3:1-11.
***Read Acts 3:1-11***
Listen to verse 1 again here. “Peter and John went to the Temple one afternoon to take part in the three o’clock prayer service.” Notice here that the disciples are still together. Just because the Holy Spirit has done amazing works in their lives didn’t cause them to run off and become individual spiritual superheroes. Instead, they are still partnered together for Christ.
Another big thing to notice is that they are still committed to prayer. This actually would have been the second time that day the disciples went to the Temple to go and pray. The Jews had three prayer meetings throughout the day, one at 9:00am, one at 3:00pm, and then one in the evening at sunset. Just because the Holy Spirit had come they didn’t stop hanging out in God’s presence. They still expected to be used and prepared themselves in prayer!
The last thing that we need to notice here from verse one is the fact that the disciples didn’t get carried away because of what happened. I think a lot of times when we have a powerful experience with God or see Him do amazing things in someone’s life we have a tendency to get ahead of God and start asking some deep questions that prevent us from doing more for God. There are three of these types of questions that I think come up in this passage that I want to look at tonight.
The first question is, Why do bad things happen if God is so good? In verse 2 we find that this lame man had a pretty miserable life. “As [Peter and John] approached the Temple, a man lame from birth was being carried in. Each day he was put beside the Temple gate, the one called the Beautiful Gate, so he could beg from the people going into the Temple.”
This man had been crippled since birth which would have made things very difficult. Keep in mind, they didn’t have the medical knowledge that we have today and would have been an outcast in society. Because of his disability, he wouldn’t have been able to work which was why he had to beg. Day after day after day, this man sat outside the Temple and asked people for money. Why would a good God allow this to happen?
When we see God do something powerful and might we often think, “If God is that powerful, then why doesn’t he just fix everything that is wrong with the world?” As we think about this often times in our minds we are lead to think then that God must not be totally good because he allows bad things to happen. But that is not the case. To answer this question lets jump over to the book of John 9:1-3.