Summary: What is required for a miracle
I. Miracles Occur in the Everyday events of Life
Now Peter and John were going up to the Temple at the ninth hour, the hour of prayer. And a certain man who had been lame from his mother’s womb was being carried along, whom they used to set down every day at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, in order to beg alms of those who were entering the temple. And when he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple, he began asking to receive alms. Acts 3:1-3
Often, when people are looking for a miracle to come into their life, they think it will take place in a sterile setting, and many times that is the case, but the majority of miracles which come into a persons life happens when they are about their daily living.
Peter and John were probably not thinking when they went to the Temple to pray that something dynamic was about to happen, they were about their daily business, it was in the afternoon, three o’clock, and they were intent on talking to God in prayer.
David said in Psalm 55:17 Evening and morning and at noon, I will complain and murmur. Now, hopefully, that is not how you would describe your prayer time, as being a time to complain and murmur. David does reveal to us the three prayer times the Jews observed. They prayed at 9 a.m., noon, and 3 p.m. The last, the evening prayer, was when the largest crowds would have gathered at the Temple.
A. Miracles are all around us.
On the way to the Temple, Peter and John had a God opportunity. They encountered a man who was crippled since birth. He had a hopeless situation, one for which the doctors could offer no hope. So each day he would be taken down to the Temple gate called Beautiful, where he would beg for his living. You can imagine the tragedy of this situation. No where to work, no welfare system to offer support, and with age, losing relatives to help provide the needs. This definitely was an individual in needs of a miracle. I wonder how many people we pass by each day that have a need, perhaps not as pronounced as this lame man, but in need of a miracle all the same. People who keep their needs stuffed inside thinking there is no way things can possibly change. We have them right here in the church
B. If you need help, ask.
As Peter and John passed by, the man reached out, he asked for help, for alms. Almsgiving was considered by the Jews as a meritorious act. Reaching out and helping the poor, and for those who were pious, this would be an ideal location to demonstrate their piety.
What we can see from this lame man is that he reached out and asked for alms. He let people know that he had a need. How often do we have needs in our lives, yet we never tell anyone about them, hoping people will discern the need. Often we hear people complain concerning the insensitivity of people to their needs, yet they have never expressed them. One of the marks of the early church was they shared with each other, not just in their financial needs, but in everything and I would take that to be they shared their lives, their needs.
II. Miracles require a Response.
And Peter, along with John, fixed his gaze upon him and said, “Look at us!” And he began to give them his attention, expecting to receive something from them. But Peter said, “I do not possess silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you: In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene—walk!” And seizing him by the right hand, he raised him up; and immediately his feet and his ankles were strengthened. And with a leap, he stood upright and began to walk; and he entered the temple with them, walking and leaping. Acts 3:4-8
A. You Need to Change Your Focus.
As the man begged for alms, he was scanning the crowd for faces which looked like they might be willing to drop something in his cup. A face here, one there, and on and on he stared, calling out for alms for the poor. As Peter and John were called to, apparently the lame man was not finding them as those who would contribute so he looked beyond them but Peter looked at him and said, “Look at us!”
We see people that are so focused on their own need they miss the point of the miracle which is available to them. One thing that helps people who have needs in their lives is to involve them in helping with the needs of others. To change their focus, off of their problem and to look at a much broader picture. The result is they not only have their need met, but they pick up a cause which enables to them help in the needs of others. In life, we can focus on our needs or change our focus and open ourselves up as prime candidates for God’s miracles.