Summary: Up to this point Luke does not give us any indication what those miraculous signs and wonders may have been. But now, as we come to chapter 3, we have an account of one of them, it is the story of the lame man who was healed at the Beautiful Gate of the
WHAT A MIRACLE!
Luke described the early church by saying, Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles Acts 2:43. Up to this point Luke does not give us any indication what those miraculous signs and wonders may have been. But now, as we come to chapter 3, we have an account of one of them, it is the story of the lame man who was healed at the Beautiful Gate of the Temple. Read Acts 3:1-10
Chapter 2 and chapter 3 are inseparably linked. The gift of the Holy Spirit was to make the Spirit-filled people a gift to the world. What happened to the apostles, the 120, and subsequently the 3,000 who where saved and baptized that day, was what the Lord wanted to happen through his people for the entire world.
No sooner had the Holy Spirit been given that the disciples, Peter and John, were confronted by human need focused in the paralyzed beggar at the temple gate.
I believe Luke tells this story because it is this miracle that causes the first arrest of the disciples, the first collision with the Sanhedrin, and the first civil disobedience by Christians to an order from the government banning the preaching of the Gospel.
I want this miracle to speak to our lives this morning. You and I have been called to walk by the Spirit, to live in the supernatural. So, pay close attention so you can learn the five truths the apostles learned and showed here. What are these truths?
1. No put-downs
First, God does not put people down who have real needs.
Here is a man who sat daily at a begging place where people entered the temple through the Beautiful Gate. From historical accounts, we know that this gate was indeed an impressive sight. Much of it was made from Corinthian bronze. It was inlaid with ornately decorated gold. As the sun would shine on it, its brightness could be seen for miles. Yet, sitting under its magnificent beauty was a suffering human being.
What this man needed was the power of the Holy Spirit made available to him. But how was he to get it? Every day he was brought to the Temple. Every day he sat and begged. He wasn’t in the group at Pentecost. He didn’t know what was going on. He lived his life out of the main stream.
Every day he sat begging. It takes time to become known, and the fact that people later recognized him suggests he had held his position for some time.
Sitting there at the gate he heard all the community news. The talk lately had centered on the signs and wonders being done by the apostles (2:43). Every day joyful believers were passing him as they entered the temple.
It would have been quite easy to say, Hey beggar, why haven’t you been healed yet? Surely you know Peter and John are performing miracles, why are you asking for money? Jesus was here a few weeks ago, why didn’t you ask him? It was here that he healed the blind and the lame, where were you!
Peter and John could have asked those questions but they didn’t. They could have rebuked him, how come you haven’t had faith before? Or, Why is it that you beg instead of finding a useful job for a handicapped person?
It is clear to me that Peter and John have matured since they met Jesus. Only a few months before they treated sick people as a theological problem. Faced with a blind man in Jerusalem, they asked Jesus, who sinned, this man or his parents? John 9:1.
Several years ago Don Merrill’s father was in the hospital dying of cancer. A couple of folks from the church had gone to pray for him. Instead of praying, they began to ask him if he’d confessed all his sins. They spent their time asking this elderly Christian man to examine the sin in his life that had kept him lying there. They made him feel sicker than he was!
What right do we have to theologize over another person’s suffering?
Our task is to say, what I have I give you. There is always something to give in the name of Jesus. Be that a word of encouragement, a hug of comfort, or a cup of water.
Sometimes you and I are like the lame beggar in that we’ve missed previous opportunities to become well. We may have given up all hope of significant change occurring and have settled for a maintenance view of life.
We need to allow this story of healing to raise in us the faith for God to do the miraculous in our lives, rather than settling for a maintenance level.