Summary: Many are spiritually crippled today, and unless they hear the Name of Jesus, their lives will never be changed. This is what we can offer them - Jesus. Stretch out our hand and pray for those who are in need.
It was 3.00pm in the afternoon (the hour of prayer in the Temple), Peter and John head up to join the believers at the Temple.
• On the way in, as they came to the Gate called Beautiful (a gate inlayed with gold and precious stones, situated at an entrance in the Eastern side of the Temple courts).
• They came across this man who had been crippled since birth. A man so lame that he could not even walk along with the aid of a crutch, but instead he had to be carried everywhere.
• And so he had some good friends who would carry him every day and lay him at this entrance to the Temple to beg from the people going up to pray. Verse 10 says many recognise him as the beggar at the temple.
This is very sad, but it is his life. He was born crippled. He cannot help himself.
• Every day he needed people to carry him to this spot. Every day he begs. We pity such a life. He lives only for the 3 meals.
• I thought frankly there are many today living such a life – in poverty, in suffering, without purpose. Sitting there to pass the days.
From a spiritually perspective, every man is in this pitiful state, just like this man.
• Because of sin, we have lost the meaning and purpose of life.
• We can no longer experience the joy of living.
• What they need is not just money. Money can only provide meals for the day; it cannot change one’s life. It cannot buy us happiness and peace.
• They need Jesus Christ – this is man’s greatest need. Only Jesus can give them a life with real meaning and purpose, an abundant life.
Peter and John saw him. They had wanted to go to the Temple to pray.
• Stopping by and healing this crippled man was not planned.
• The Holy Spirit prompted them to stop and meet that need.
• God guides us this way often, through what we see and hear, He guides us to people that needed our help.
The crippled man asked for money, but Peter gave him what he really needs.
• This poor beggar was looking merely for a coin or two—just enough to sustain life.
• But God had much more in store for him. God wanted this man to have not mere existence of life, but eternal life through faith in Christ.
• This man was looking only for his next crust of bread. But God wanted to give him the Bread of Life (John 6:35).
Peter said: "Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk." (v.6)
• What do we have today? Jesus Christ. We know Him. Many do not. They do not have the hope we have, experience the joy and the peace.
• We can introduce them the Name of Jesus. We can pray for them.
Jesus is no longer physically present. He has already resurrected and ascended into heaven, but His power remains.
• But the resurrected Lord is with them. The disciples pray in the Name of Jesus and see God’s power at work.
The work of Christ did not stop with His departure.
• His work continues through His disciples – preaching the Gospel, healing the sick, etc. We are called to be His disciples – ambassadors and intercessors.
• Peter has nothing in himself to help this man. He doesn’t even have the simplest gifts – silver or gold. But he has Jesus Christ.
• We have nothing in ourselves to change a person life, but we know Christ. We pray and help them experience the power of Jesus Christ.
A church organised a big clean-up day. Several ladies showed up with vacuum cleaners to clean the sanctuary. After an hour of hard work one lady noticed that her machine wasn’t working. She realised the main switch wasn’t turned on.
She had been working very hard for the whole time and had not noticed her vacuum cleaner was not plugged in because of the noise of the other machines!
By ourselves, disconnected from the source of power, we cannot do anything.
3:7-8: “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.”
This is not easy. He was BORN a cripple.
• How old is he now? 4:22 says over forty years old. He has never walked for forty years.
• But he has faith in God. Peter said so when he was explaining the event to the people in Acts 3:16. 1