Summary: We're all handicapped by something be it physical, emptional, or spiritual. God can still heal our handicaps.
“HEALING FOR MY HANDICAPS”
A family had moved into a new community. They attended a church their first Sunday in town. The parents wondered how their 10-year-old son would like the new church and how he would do in a new Sunday school class.
The family met up after Sunday school and sat through the worship service together. On the way home, the mom asked her son, “What did you think of your Sunday school class?” The boy answered, “It was exciting.” So the dad asked, “What made it so exciting?”
The boy replied, “Well, the teacher told us all about when the Israelites escaped from Egypt. They had a clean break all planned but the Egyptians found out about it and chased them right to the sea. Things looked bad for them. Real bad.
“But General Moses was really smart. He had a surprise waiting for the Egyptians. He got out his radio and told the Air Force to drop some bombs behind the Egyptians. While that was going on and the Egyptians were distracted, Moses had the Army build a pontoon bridge and all the Israelites crossed over it to the other side.
“Then the Egyptians started after them on the bridge. But the Israelites had planted explosives all across it. When the Egyptians got out in the middle, General Moses blew the whole thing up. All of the Israelites made it across but none of the Egyptians made it.”
Mom and Dad looked very concerned. They wondered what kind of teacher had taught the class. Dad asked, “Is that the way the teacher told the story?” And the boy said, “No, not really. But if I told it the way the teacher told it, you’d never believe it!”
We’re a lot like that 10-year-old boy. We read or hear about the power of God thousands of years ago and we tell ourselves, “God doesn’t do that any more.” But in Mal. 3:6, God says, “I the LORD do not change.” Heb. 13:8 tells us, Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. That means that God’s character is the same as it was 2000 years ago. His purpose is the same. His priorities are the same. And His power is the same. If God could heal thousands of years ago, He can still heal today.
We’re going to look at a passage this morning that tells us about the healing power of God through His apostles. The miraculous signs and wonders done through the apostles was a sign that Jesus was still working His miraculous power through His people.
Acts 3:1-10 – One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon. 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. When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he
asked them for money. Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!” So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them.
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.” Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles
became strong. He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts,
walking and jumping, and praising God. When all the people saw him walking and praising God, 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.
Let’s begin by talking about the people involved in these events – the main characters in the story. First, there’s Peter the apostle. He was first brought to Jesus by his brother Andrew. He eagerly accepted Jesus’ call to become a fisher of men.
Yet Peter had handicaps before he gave his life completely to Christ. He was extremely outspoken. He was the kind of person who would speak first and think later. He was also very impulsive. He would act before he considered the ramifications of his actions. He was loudest in his promises to Jesus the night that Jesus was arrested but abandoned Him and even cursed His name. In another impulsive reversal, he then went out and cried bitter tears. William Stuart McBirnie described him as “a rare combination of courage and cowardice, of great strength and regrettable instability.”
Yet, we see the effect of the resurrected Jesus in his life. He was changed from being Simon, which is a name that signified the concept of “hearing” to being Peter, a name which signified a rock that was moveable. Peter writes about Jesus being our foundation stone and all of us Christians being living stones. In essence, when Christ changed his name from Simon to Peter, He was saying, “You’re going to be a solid piece off of the foundation stone.” And Peter become the leader of the early church, wrote two letters in the New Testament, and as many scholars believe, was the primary source for the material in the Gospel of Mark.