Summary: This is sermon from Acts 3:1-10 presented to Cornerstone Christian Church on 3/30/14.
Let's go to the Lord in Prayer on this day. Prayer.
Please open your Bibles to Acts, Chapter 3, and follow along with me as I read todays scripture in Acts 3:1-10. I will be reading from the English Standard Version.
Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. 2 And a man lame from birth was being carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple that is called the Beautiful Gate to ask alms of those entering the temple. 3 Seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked to receive alms. 4 And Peter directed his gaze at him, as did John, and said, “Look at us.” 5 And he fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them. 6 But Peter said, “I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!” 7 And he took him by the right hand and raised him up, and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong. 8 And leaping up he stood and began to walk, and entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. 9 And all the people saw him walking and praising God, 10 and recognized him as the one who sat at the Beautiful Gate of the temple, asking for alms. And they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.
So far to this point in our series on Acts we know that Jesus has ascended, Judas Iscariot has been replaced, the Holy Spirit came to believers in waiting, Peter presented a sermon so powerful on the Day of Pentecost that 3000 lives were changed, we then see that people do life together, break bread, and they had adopted a communal lifestyle... We left off at verse 46 & 47 which reads, "And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people/ And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved." Which allows us to enter into Acts Chapter 3 today...
Take another look at our passage for today, it's Acts 3:1-10... What we have here is Peter and John going to the temple at 3pm, and 3pm isn't just a random time, this is one of the three times in a day where a devout Jew could go to the temple for prayer, 9am, 12 noon, and 3pm. So what we have is Peter and John probably holding true to the first part of Acts 2:46, "and day by day, attending the temple together," where they would most likely go to pray. It's also probably safe for us to assume Peter and John weren't going to the temple just to pray, -- because where's a better place to evangelize to the Jewish people than at the temple, where there's a whole lot of Jewish people, 3 times a day? Let's call this Peter and John's Prayer Commission, part prayer, part Great Commission, so Peter and John are on this Prayer Commission when they come across a man... This man, scripture tells us, was lame from birth, who was brought daily to the gate of the temple to beg. Because when you're a Jewish man, who is viewed as unacceptable and unclean by society, and you don't have working legs, there isn't a whole lot of chance for blue-collar labor for you to do in Jerusalem. So this man resorts to begging... Our passage then tells us that he's laid before a gate called "Beautiful," and what's special about this gate and special about this man, is that this gate is the entry-way for the majority of Jewish women, but it's probably not limited to just women, because Peter and John are headed that way... So this immobile beggar sits in front of the entry way for all of the Jewish woman -- and here's the special part about the guy -- he's working the system. Probably thousands of women walk by this guy daily, -- women, are typically more compassionate than men and unfortunately and fortunately, are more likely to give out of emotion than men. Peter and John walk by this guy, who's ya know, got his cup out there, asking for money, and Peter and John just happen to be the closest, "Any change for an old man?" -- This question has probably just become a repititive action, and he's on to the next group of people who walk into the temple. Peter and John don't go anywhere. I want to make a brief illustration with this next part.. So Peter looks at the guy and shouts out, "Look at us!" which with a ton of people walking by probably causes a lot of stopping and watching. It's kind of like shopping at Wal-Mart with your kids, which is a totally normal thing for American families to do... That is, until your kids starts screaming in the middle of aisle, then everybody wants to see what's going on.