Summary: My Brothers and my sisters we’ve heard in times pass many great expositions of this first miracle of the Church particularly coming from these two men of God.
THE FAITH OF A BEGGAR
My Brothers and my sisters we’ve heard in times pass many great expositions of this first miracle of the Church particularly coming from these two men of God. We’ve learned in times pass how God uses those that are committed to the faith, and how the Lord Himself although no longer physically with them, is able to work miracles through those who He had chosen and invested much in. We even learned that although Peter and John did not have what this lame man wanted, they surely had what he needed. Silver and gold had they none, but one thing they did have on that particular day was some “such as I have”, and when Peter spoke these words and connected it with the words “in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth” something miraculous happened. Even today, if you would allow me, I would add to what you’ve learned about this text. I would share with you and you should note that Peter used the full title of Jesus. He said in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. Now he could have used just Jesus’ first name and the Father would’ve known who he was talking about, but on the other hand if he would have used His given name without His heavenly title then this cripple beggar wouldn’t have known which Jesus he was talking about. You see the name Jesus was a common name during that time. So he used Jesus’ complete name and title to take away the possibility of someone else getting God’s glory. So we’ve heard a lot about these great men of God and what the Lord Jesus had done through them.
In chapter 2 we find Peter preaching his introductory sermon. And in that sermon there were some things that he needed to clear up concerning what the multitude had just witnessed. The multitude concluded that because the disciples were unlearned men and they thought that they were filled with new wine. So, Peter standing up desired to clear the air of that rumor before it got started. So he preached the gospel message of Christ and after hearing it they were convicted and asked a question in verse 37 of chapter 2, they said “what shall we do?” and Peter responded in verse 38 “Repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sin.” and verse 41 said that they gladly received his word and was baptized: and that same day three thousand souls were saved.
In this third chapter we want to look at this cripple beggar’s faith and we will examine it in two parts, (1) from his old perspective (as a cripple) and (2) from the perspective of being whole (healed). From his old perspective he beg for alms. From his new he leaped, stood, walked and praised God; From his old perspective he sat outside the temple gate called Beautiful, from the new he entered with Peter and John into the temple, I tell you we will see him in two perspectives.
Now as we look at this beggar, I’m not sure if he had a family or not because the bible does not mention one but in verse 2 it tell us that he was carried to the gate and laid there. It was not noted whether it was his family that brought him there or some friends, but one thing we do know is that who ever brought him there was expecting to pick him up in the condition that they left him, the only change they were expecting was to find him with a little money at the end of the day. They did not know that, by the end of that day he would receive some such as I have that would change his life forever.
So come with me as we examine this text from the view point of this crippled beggar.
First of all verse 2 let’s us see...
1. HIS FAITH IN HIS ABILITY TO BEG. (V.2)
“And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask of alms of them that entered into the temple;”
One way that you can succeed, is to not let the condition that you are in dictate the way you feel about yourself. This lame man could have decided to wait on someone to do something for him, but instead he had faith in his ability to beg and he elected to sit in front of the temple gate begging for money. He did not let his condition determine that he needed to do nothing. Now grant it that he had to look pitiful in order for people to give to him, but that was part of the attributes of begging. But he did what he had to do to make a living. So day after day he laid at the gate, eyeballing those who would help him, asking them for alms. In fact he was so good at it that he could tell from a distance who would possibly help him, because verse 3 said that he saw Peter and John about to enter the temple and he asked an alms. So not only begging was what he did, but begging at the temple gate was his profession. Even today there are some professional beggars. They know that they can come to the church and appeal to our sense of charity and if we don’t give it to them, then they would attempt to put us on a guilt trip saying things like “if you can’t get help from the church, where can you get it?” Well my answer is to them is after I’ve smelled what they been drinking, “get it from the place you got that drink from.”