Summary: Years of dependency upon everyone else. Years of begging had taken an emotional toll on this man’s self-esteem and sense of worth.
TITLE: RISE UP AND WALK
SCRIPTURE: ACTS 3:1-10
He had become a familiar site to Temple goers over the years. Every day his friends would carry him there and leave him by the Gate called Beautiful. All day long he would sit by the gate with outstretched arms begging for money from people entering the Temple. There was nothing wrong with this man in many ways.
• He could See
• He could Speak
• He could Hear
• He could move his Arms and his Upper Torso
There was just one thing wrong with him and that was he had no strength in his Ankles, Legs, or
Feet. According to VS 2, he had been in this condition since the day he was born. His parents had never experienced the joy of seeing him -
• Take his very first step or pulling himself up to a chair
• They never got to see him running with other children
• Or climbing a tree
• Or kicking a ball
• Or Playing Sports in High School
His Feet, Legs, were dead and totally lifeless. His whole life, he had been different than everybody else he was an -
• Social Outcast in many ways
In those days, there were no laws or government regulations that would require an employer to hire him and pay him a fair wage although he would have been very capable of doing a job that required skilled hands or a sharp mind. There were no schools that specialized in teaching you how to work with your disability and earn an income and become a productive member of society.
Simply because his feet and legs had no strength the Jewish society had forced him to become a
• Lowly Beggar
• Entirely dependent upon the Mercy and Compassion of others for his survival
The Bible calls to our attention, that one afternoon about the 3:00 o’clock hour, Peter and John approached the GATE CALLED BEAUTIFUL on their way to the Temple to pray. Not much is known about this Gate called Beautiful. It is the Gospel writer Luke as the only NT writer to refer to this gate by this unique name. According to Jewish historians, the Gate called Beautiful was in all likelihood the same as THE GATE OF NICANOR. If indeed they were one in the same, one can see why Luke would refer to it as the Gate called Beautiful.
I can tell you a little about this Beautiful Gate. This gate was --
• 75 feet high and 60 feet wide
• It was made of Corinthian Brass
• Beautifully ornamented with gold and silver platelet’s
• Because this gate was located on the East Side of the Temple, it would have radiated in Beauty with every brilliant Sunrise
• As a matter of fact, this gate was of such beauty, one would hardly even notice a lowly beggar sitting by the gate
But as Peter and John were about to pass through the Gate called Beautiful, this lame beggar asks them for some money. That is not unusual, for that is what beggars do. Now I want you to pay particular attention to VS. 4 -- Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “LOOK AT US!”
• The fact that this man was outwardly Crippled was very obvious
• But now we also see he was Inwardly Crippled as well
• In Mind
• In Heart
• In Spirit
Years of dependency upon everyone else. Years of begging had taken an emotional toll on this man’s self-esteem and sense of worth.
• This man has such a Low Opinion of himself
• He can’t even bring himself to look people in the eye when he begged for money
• So the very first thing Peter had the man to do was to Look Up and look him Squarely in the Eyes
Look again with me at VS. 5 it tells us at that point, this man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them. Here we see the “low level of expectation” of this lame beggar. He had sat by that Gate and begged for so long he had no expectation of ever rising above his situation. In his Mind - Heart - Spirit he had come to believe this was his lot in life. You know what they say --
• “Once a cripple, always a cripple.”
• “Once a beggar, always a beggar”
His greatest Hope - His greatest Expectation was that Peter and John would plunk a few coins in his cup so he could go on being what he had always been - a lowly, lame beggar! Peter fixed his heart on this fellow. The lame man’s expectations were raised. I am sure that he had seen people come and go that would not even look in his direction, or maybe laugh at him, or spit at him, or even worse. But this time, he saw that someone was interested in him. So the Bible states in VS. 5 that, "...HE GAVE HEED UNTO THEM EXPECTING TO RECEIVE SOMETHING OF THEM."