Summary: Some of us are a little bit lame in our life because our life has gotten off track. Our expectations of the things of this world let us down, and we need to refocus on the person of Jesus Christ.
I’m glad I got to speak about Acts chapter 3, because chapter 3 is kind of like one of those first huge miracles of the Church after the day of Pentecost, after the Holy Spirit was given. I want to pick up on the story because...now Peter has just received the Holy Spirit. He came on 120 people. He goes out and he preaches, and in his first sermon, 3,000 people get saved. The Bible says, "And the number that was added to the Church that day was about 3,000," so to have 3,120...because the 120 people were in the upper room on the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit fell.
So here comes Peter, full of the Holy Spirit, empowered. Now all the things Jesus had said in His earthly ministry to them turned out to be actually true, that He would be crucified, that He would be raised from the dead, and that He would send the Holy Spirit on the Church. So now they have this absolute confidence that Jesus is the Christ, that everything He says is true, and so everything He said that is coming must be true as well. And they walk out, and they see a sight I want to read to you about.
Listen to this in Acts, chapter 3. "Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. And a man lame from birth was being carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple that is called the Beautiful Gate to ask alms of those entering the temple. Seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked to receive alms. And Peter directed his gaze at him, as did John, and said, ’Look at us.’
And the crippled man, "he fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them. But Peter said, ’I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!’ And he took him by the right hand and raised him up, and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong. And leaping up he stood and began to walk, and entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God, and recognized him as the one who sat at the Beautiful Gate of the temple, asking for alms. And they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him."
Someone said he was asking for alms, but he got legs. Anyway...this guy’s life...now, can you imagine being deformed, in essence, being paralyzed from birth, and that your whole life’s existence is a life of a beggar? Your mom and dad are going to carry you to the Temple every day and set you down, and your livelihood is going to be a professional beggar because you can’t work, you can’t have any kind of gainful employment. So, they know religious people go to the Temple and pray, so they’re going to set him right there at this Beautiful gate of the Temple, overlaid with extra layers of gold.
So he is there begging, and when Peter and John saw him, they reached out to him, having no gold and silver to offer, but they had something way more powerful. They had the name of Jesus Christ, the One now they utterly believed that everything He had said was true.
This man’s life got off track really early at birth. Some of us are a little bit lame in our life because our life has gotten off track just a little bit. Have you ever gotten off track? You know how that feels. You thought you had it all together. Maybe you got off track in business, maybe you got off track in a relationship, maybe you got off track morally, and you just don’t know what to do about it.
Well, I’ll never forget getting off track one time...literally getting off track. We were at my farm in Louisiana. We were riding ATVs, and we were along the Amit River. Now, the Amit River is several miles long, and there were miles and miles of ATV tracks in the back. Well, I had never gone back that far, but I had one of my brothers and a bunch of my nephews out there on these ATVs, and this was back in the day when we had the three wheelers. It had the big balloon tire up front, real susceptible to flipping over.
And it’s getting dark, and it’s freezing cold that night. We’re all bundled up in jackets, going through the back of the woods and through the river. And I’m losing them. They’re so good on them, and I never rode them that much, but they leave me. I saw them going over a hill. I’m going as fast as I can to catch up with them, and I ran into a hole, but the hole was full of water, and when I went through the water, the front wheel flipped up, flipped over, threw me down in the water, and the ATV fell on top of me.