Summary: The biblical account of a man born lame gives us a vivid illustration of the spiritual transformation that takes place when a lost sinner accepts the free gift of salvation by faith.

The Thrilling Transformation Of A Tragedy

Text: Acts 3: 6 & 7

Intro: It seems that our world is full of tragedy. We hear countless stories every week of tragedies that have taken place all over the planet. So many in fact, the disaster has to be pretty extraordinary to hold our attention for more than a few minutes. It’s not that we no longer care about the hurts of people, but simply that we hear about so many things, we tend to become sort of numb.

However, our attention is sometimes held captive by the story of someone whose tragedy has turned to triumph. We like to hear about the bad boy turned good; the poor man who became prosperous; or the nobody who became somebody. The account that we are considering today is just such a story.

Acts chapter 3 tells us of a man who had experienced a terrible tragedy in his life—one that would perhaps depress and defeat most people. Fortunately, this man was graciously granted deliverance.

But more important than the thrill of a bad story with a happy ending, is what this story represents. This story is a beautiful illustration of what Christ has done for every born-again child of God. It also pictures what He desires to do for every lost sinner. Our Savior can literally transform the tragedy of a life fettered by sin into a life set free by salvation. What a thrilling thought and truth that is.

As we study the course of events in this man’s life, we should realize the great power of Christ to transform, and our responsibility to proclaim that transforming power. May our hearts be thrilled today as we think back to how the Lord has transformed our own lives.

Theme: This story tells us of:


NOTE: The tragedies of ones life can be devastating. But those same tragedies can lead to greater developments, as was true in the following story.


It was 1818 in France, and Louis, a boy of 9, was sitting in his father’s workshop. The father was a harness-maker and the boy loved to watch his father work the leather.

“Someday Father,” said Louis, “I want to be a harness-maker, just like you.”

“Why not start now?” said the father. He took a piece of leather and drew a design on it. “Now, my son,” he said, “take the hole-puncher and a hammer and follow this design, but be careful that you don’t hit your hand.”

Excited, the boy began to work, but when he hit the hole-puncher, it flew out of his hand and pierced his eye! He lost the sight of that eye immediately. Later, sight in the other eye failed. Louis was now totally blind.

A few years later, Louis was sitting in the family garden when a friend handed him a pinecone. As he ran his sensitive fingers over the cone, an idea came to him. He became enthusiastic and began to create an alphabet of raised dots on paper so that the blind could feel and interpret what was written. Thus, Louis Braille opened up a whole new world for the blind—all because of an accident!

Bits and Pieces, June, 1990, pp. 23-4

A. Notice This Man’s Serious Defect.

Acts 3: 1 “Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour.

2 And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb…”

NOTE: [1] Not only was this poor man lame, but he had been that way all his life. He had never known the joy of walking, running or jumping. As a child, I can imagine him watching with a heavy heart, as the other children would run and play, doing all the things he could not do. Folks, this is a perfect picture of what is spiritually true of every person born into this world. We were all born with a spiritual malady called “sin” (Rom.3: 23). We were spiritually crippled and helpless.

[2] It is interesting that Peter and John noticed this lame man at the “ninth hour,” which is 3:00 p.m. What makes that fact interesting is that it was at the “ninth hour” that the darkness lifted on Golgotha’s hill (Lk.23: 44). During the three hours of darkness that clung to Calvary that day, Jesus became sin for all mankind. At the “ninth hour” the darkness lifted, for Jesus Christ, the Son of God had dismissed His Spirit.

[3] As God’s grace would have it; the “ninth hour” would be the hour a lame beggar would be delivered from the darkness of his soul.

[4] Notice another correlation between this lame man and the lost sinner. This man’s beggarly state was due to his physical condition—he was a cripple. In like manner, those who are lost cannot make it to heaven on their own. They are spiritual cripples. They have nothing to offer God, for they are beggars before He Who has everything and is everything.

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