Summary: A look at the story of the healing of the lame man at the Gate Beautiful. How many "lame" people do we encounter, only to leave them in their condition.
The World is Lame: What Are You Doing About It?
There are so many people outside of the church in a state of hurt and need, but so many within the church leave them in that state.
Peter and John were on their way to pray and encountered a man who was lame. They took action. Do we do the same today?
1. The lame man was dependent on others – others controlled his life.
a. This man was totally dependent on others to get around.
b. This man had no real control over his own life. He was at the mercy of others.
c. He didn’t have anyone to really give him what he needed, but at least he had some to give him something.
d. So many people go through this life just being pacified without ever being satisfied.
2. The lame man was looking for a helping hand.
a. This man would find himself every day seated outside the temple, hoping that someone would give him something to help meet the needs of the day.
b. Cripples were not allowed to enter the temple precincts, so there was a limit to how far he could go.
c. Every day he was passed by those who were on their way to the temple; and, everyday he would be left in the same condition – lame and helpless.
d. You would think that someone that close to the church who was clearly in need would be helped.
3. Peter and John were fulfilling their “religious duties”.
a. This was a daily time of prayer. It wasn’t a special occasion. Peter and John were doing what they always did.
b. The difference with Peter and John, however, is that they kept themselves in a position to minister to those who were in need.
c. How many people go to the house of the Lord because they are fulfilling their duty of ministering unto the Lord, yet take no thought of ministering unto people along the way?
4. The lame man called out for help.
a. How loud and how long does the world have to call out before someone will do something to help?
b. So many within the church are so caught up in their own issues and their own needs that they don’t even realize there are those in need of a helping hand. But, we continue to mask that ineffectiveness with our religion.
c. There are many who choose to keep what they have of and from God rather than to freely give what they have freely received.
d. Peter and John took the time to reach out to one that most of the church had passed by.
5. Peter addresses the need.
a. Peter’s actions indicated that he understood that the believer has a responsibility to reach out to those who are in need.
b. Peter and John were not willing to simply pacify the lame man. They were looking to satisfy his real need.
c. Peter wasn’t looking to meet the surface need of the man. It would have been nice and thoughtful to give the man money, but his condition of being lame would have remained the same.
d. What do we as a church have to offer today? Do we meet the easy, visible needs or can we offer the life and healing that is really needed?
e. The lame man was probably disappointed when he heard Peter say they had no money. He probably never even considered the idea that it was possible to receive his healing.
6. Peter commands healing.
a. Peter knew that what the lame man really needed was the power of God. Those who are in a lame condition don’t need to be given temporary relief.
b. What good is it to give someone what they request if we never give them Jesus?
c. It would have been much easier and much more common to hand the man some money.
d. Not only did Peter command the healing, he physically took part in the process by taking the man by the hand and helping him to his feet.
e. Do we still have the faith today to see God’s power displayed through us? Or, do we mask our impotence with other things?
f. A wise man once told me:
i. The world needs changing.
ii. The world is changeable.
iii. I am the one to change it.
7. The lame man went with them into the temple.
a. Peter and John could have given this man money, but he would have went home the same way he came and he would have never gone into a place of worship.
b. This man was literally able to go places he formerly could not go and it was all because somebody was willing to give him what he really needed.