Summary: Too many of us today are have our focus set on our afflictions, problems worries, our attention must be directed to God as the lame mans was so that we can turn affliction into adoration with our attention on God.
Intro: I don’t know if you have ever heard of Charles Dickens classic Great Expectations. It is a story of an orphan boy named Pip. After a turn of events he is left a large sum of money by an unknown benefactor. He wants so terribly bad to become a gentleman and no longer be common. He has great expectations about who and what He will become.
Through circumstances surrounding his secret benefactor, who just so happens to be a thief, and a bitter lady with whom he lived for a time. Pips great expectations become a thing of the past.
We see similar circumstances in our story today.
Peter and John are expecting to go to the temple and pray and worship God.
They were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer. This was a part of the Jewish worship. There were three times of prayer the third hour, 9 am, the sixth hour, 12 noon, and the ninth hour 3 PM. Their meeting of a lame man was not an unusual event. It was very common for crippled persons to lay, sit outside the temple and beg for money.
The lame man probably expected this day to be as any other. I can imagine he had no great expectations. (Oh church how much we are like the lame man. Fallen under the weight of sin with no expectation of God to deliver us)
I. Lame Man
A) His Affliction
1) Began at Birth (devastating disease) (from his mother’s womb Acts 3.2)
a) According to Dr Luke
1) Man was lame from birth
2) The greek word chôlôs means lame deprived of a foot.
a) Dr. Lukes diagnosis was that the patients feet were useless.
b) according to one commentator—
he had parylsis in the base of his heels of his feet in the socket of his ankle making him unable to walk.
**Those that have not entered by Jesus the beautiful gate are unable to walk with God!
3) But what does this mean.
a) He couldn’t walk, work, or worship
b) Leviticus 21.16-18 no blemish, blind or lame
2) Accepted his affliction
a) Business as usual.
b) Every day occurrence -- Habit
1) We know this by the verb translated “was being carried along,” along with “set down every day”
that it was nothing more than a daily routine.
How much like the lame man are we??
No great expectation of the Lord in our services just the same old routine!
Just doing our routine to survive.
c) Oh church that we would get out of the routine and begin the real thing!!!
--As the lame man was about to have an encounter with God almighty by way of His preachers!
--As Peter and John passed by He called them.
Why then did they call his attention?
In 4.22 we find He was 40 years old. Probably quite accomplished at his craft of who would respond to his cry for alms. (stories of beggars)
(He may have called others while waiting on Peter and John’s response.)
B) His Attention
1) Peter – What a difference the Holy Spirit makes!
a) Look at us!! (They didn’t reach for money they reached for his attention and his soul.)
b) Give us your undivided attention. (Quit looking at those other folks passing by we have exactly what you need.)
God hears you in your afflictions –
Gen 16.11, Hagar, Ex 4.31 God sees you affliction
Ex 3.7 God will deliver you from your affliction
Hosea 5.15 “I will go away and return to My place until they acknowledge their guild and seek My face; In their affliction they will earnestly seek me.”
God will allow affliction in our life that we may seek Him before all other things.
2) Lame man – He locked eyes with Peter and John probably expecting to receive a unusually generous gift.
a) A witty old preacher said it this way.
The lame man was expecting alms but he got legs.
b) He put his full attention on the preachers.
-- oh for some folks to pay attention!!
C) His Reception
1) Thomas Aquinas
a) Is said to have visited the pope when large sums of money were being counted.
The pope boasted “We need no longer say with Peter, “Silver and Gold I do not have!”
Aquinas replied, “neither can you say with Peter, “rise up and walk.”
b) The lame mans reception was not based on a building, a program, or a preacher.
It was based on the matchless miracle working power of the name of Jesus.
2) What lesson could we take from this.
a) Don’t invite people to church
invite them to Jesus!!!!!!!!
Invite them to be the church!
--People don’t accept Calvary Baptist Church as Lord and Savior they accept Jesus.