Summary: The book of Acts takes up the history of Christianity where the Gospels leave off. After Jesus ascended to heaven, the Holy Spirit came in a unique way and the apostles moved forward dynamically and daringly to tell the story of the risen and living Chri
Reading: Acts 3:1-26
Text: “Silver or Gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk… It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has given this complete healing to him” (Acts 3:6,16 NIV)
The book of Acts takes up the history of Christianity where the Gospels leave off. After Jesus ascended to heaven, the Holy Spirit came in a unique way and the apostles moved forward dynamically and daringly to tell the story of the risen and living Christ.
In Red Square, in Moscow, Lenin’s embalmed remains lie in a crystal casket in a tomb. An inscription on the casket reads:
“He was the greatest leader of all peoples, of all countries, of all times.
He was the lord of the new humanity.
He was the saviour of the world.”
All that Lenin did was in the past tense.
As Christians we know that the true Saviour of the world is Jesus, the living Christ.
Of course, the book of Acts tells only a few of the many wonderful events that must have occurred.
The Holy Spirit led Luke to record the visit of Peter and John to the temple, where they healed a man who had been lame from birth.
How strange Peter’s words must have sounded when he said “Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have I give to thee”; but how exciting Peter’s deed when he took the man by the right hand, lifted him up, and through the power of the Holy Spirit healed him.
A double miracle occurred that day!
The man learned to walk and leap at the very moment he was healed.
A great lesson is present in this story.
We are to do “what we can - with what we have – where we are – for Jesus’ sake today” and never wait for a greater opportunity or for a time when we might have greater abilities or resources.
Money isn’t everything! Too often people think that that giving money is the only way to help a person in need. How thrilling to see a story where money is not the most important thing.
Peter said plainly, “Silver and Gold I do not have” and then proceeded to work a miracle.
The time can come in the life of a person, church or organisation when money can actually become a problem!
Thomas Aquinas, a religious leader of another generation, once visited the pope and was shown all of the treasures of the Roman Church.
The pope said to Thomas, “Well, Thomas, no longer can the church say, ‘Silver and Gold have I none.”
Thomas replied, “Yes, Holy Father, but have you ever thought that the church is in danger of also not being able to say.
‘In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk’?”
It is so important to keep our priorities right.
Whether we use the term talents or abilities or gifts when we speak of what we have to offer God in service, we must answer the question “What do I have to offer MY Lord?”
And another question follows closely: “Am I willing to give myself – including my talents, abilities and gifts – to be used anyway that God sees fit?”
Giving “such as we have” to our Lord unreservedly for use in the service of His kingdom.
How do we know that Jesus Christ is living in power among us?
For the Jerusalem church, the healing of the lame man signified the power of the living Christ and that He was present among them.
How about us?
Do we see lives being changed miraculously?
Are there things happening among us that amaze and fill us with wonder?
The book of Acts emphasises the reality of the living Christ in the church.
Let’s consider four lessons from Acts 3.
1. The Lesson of a crippled society and what can be done about it.
2. The Lesson of divine authority and how to use it.
3. The Lesson of a living message and its relevance for our times.
4. The Lesson of obedience and expectation.
1 The Lesson of a crippled society and what can be done about it.
Peter and John had an encounter with a lame man who had been crippled from birth.
Each day someone carried him to the gate called Beautiful.
He begged from the crowds of worshippers who passed this prominent place. This is where the man’s healing took place.
The lame man saw Peter and John approaching the gate, so he begged them for money.
Peter’s words changed that man’s life: “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk” (Acts 3:6).