Summary: A look at the healing of the Crippled Man by Peter
GET ON YOUR FEET
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 USUALLY 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 THEN 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 3:1-10 (NIV) One day Pe-ter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer--at three in the afternoon. 2 Now a man crippled from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. 3 When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. 4 Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, "Look at us!" 5 So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them. 6 Then Peter said, "Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk." 7 Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man's feet and ankles became strong. 8 He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. 9 When all the people saw him walking and praising God, 10 they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.
WHAT A DAY. A DAY THAT WOULD NEVER BE FORGOTTEN. AND THIS MORNING WE ARE GOING TO LOOK AT THAT DAY.
1) -THIS MAN WAS NOT WHOLE. ACTS 3:2 NOW A MAN CRIPPLED FROM BIRTH 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. NOW A MAN CRIPPLED FROM BIRTH.
IT WASN'T HIS FAULT THAT HE WAS CRIPPLED. 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 CIRROUS OF THE LIVER OR DRIVE YOUR FAMILY AWAY, YOUR FAULT. COMMIT ADULTERY AND YOUR SPOUSE LEAVES YOU, DON'T BLAME EVERYONE ELSE OK. BUT 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. MY FRIEND ROD LEWIS IS A CRIPPLE BECAUSE A DOCTOR WHO HAD BEEN PARTYING PRIOR TO THE DELIVERY GOOFED AND SEVERED ROD'S SPINAL CORD WHEN HE PERFORMED THE CAESAREAN. BUT THERE IS NO EVIDENCE OF THAT HERE. ALL WE KNOW IS THAT THIS WAS A MAN WHO WASN'T PHYSICALLY WHOLE. HE WASN'T EVERYTHING THAT PHYSICAL MAN IS SUPPOSED TO BE, HE WAS A CRIPPLE HE COULDN'T WALK. IN TODAY'S CLIMATE WHERE EVERYTHING HAS TO BE SAID IN THE POLITICALLY CORRECT WAY WE WOULD SAY THAT HE WAS "PHYSICALLY DISADVANTAGED" OR "PHYSICALLY CHALLENGED". I HAVE A FRIEND WHO IS BALD AND HE SAYS THAT HE IS "FOLLICLEY CHALLENGED" DOES THAT MEAN THAT SOMEONE WHO IS SHORT IS "VERTICALLY CHALLENGED".