Summary: A Look at the healing of the lame man at the gate called Beautiful
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 tem-ple 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 crip-pled 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 re-veal 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 peo-ple all over the world. The man and the day are written about in Acts 3:1-11 that Mike read for us earlier in the ser-vice. And really is summed up in Acts 3:7-8 Then Peter took the lame man by the right hand and helped him up. And as he did, the man’s feet and anklebones were healed and strength-ened. He jumped up, stood on his feet, and began to walk! Then, walking, leaping, and praising God, he went into the Temple with them.
What a day. A day that would never be forgotten. And this morning we are going to look at that day.
The story is told in the book of Acts, which is the 5th book of the New Testament. The author is the same person who wrote the Gospel of Luke and that is Luke, who was proba-bly a gentile doctor. Scholars place the writing of this book around AD 65. It was written to tell what happened after the resurrection. This is indeed the rest of the story. It is a great book, it’s here we meet Paul, the story of the church begins here and we are introduced to the personal power of the Holy Spirit. If you have never read the book of Acts you need to.
So what do we learn from this story and from the main char-acter?
Acts 3:2 now a man lame from birth 1) He Had a Problem. here was a man with a problem, he was a cripple. This was-n’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 mis-fortunes 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 lame.
And as far as we know it wasn’t the fault of anyone else ei-ther. 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 paraplegic, because a doctor who had been party-ing 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 cor-rect way we would say that he was “physically disadvan-taged” 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”.