Summary: Peter said to the lame man "such as I have give I thee". What did he have to offer that made the difference that day, and what do WE have that can make the difference today?
Years ago, I learned this cute little camp song. If you know it, sing along with me.
“Peter and John went to pray – they met a lame man on the way
He held out his palm and asked for an alm – and this is what Peter did say
'Silver and gold have I none, but such as I have give I thee
In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk'
He went walking and leaping and praising God
Walking and leaping and praising God
In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.”
(The song is almost word for word from the KJV of Acts 3)
“Such as I have - give I thee”.
What we’re going to talk about today is what Peter had…
But first, let’s review the story – the church had just kicked off a couple days earlier on Pentecost, and these had been exciting times. There had been the sound of a rushing wind, tongues of fire settling on the Apostles, and then the Apostles began speaking languages they’d never learned. As a result – that day about 3000 people repented of their sins and were baptized into Christ.
Now, it’s just a couple days later. Peter and John are on their way to the Temple to pray... just minding their own business. And then … this happens. This lame man begs for alms from Peter and John and Peter (of course) heals this man. This lame man hadn’t asked to be healed. In fact - he hadn’t even asked about Jesus. All he wanted was a few coins to help him pay for a meal or two.
BUT Peter heals him! Why would he do that? Why heal a man who hadn't even asked to be healed? Well 1st – this man was LAME. He had an obvious need. Peter said to him “Silver and gold have I none, but such as I have – give I thee.”
Now that would be cool wouldn’t it! Just to reach out and touch the sick and the disabled and make them well! That would be great!!!! I’ve often said – if I’d lived back in that day… the gift I’d loved to have had would have been to heal people. But what is interesting here - is that this is one of the rare times in Scripture where Jesus or His disciples healed anyone who has not ASKED to be healed. Now, Jesus did do that once or twice in His ministry, but this is the only time I remember an Apostle doing it.
Usually you had to WANT to be healed for this to happen. But not this time. This guy’s not looking to be healed. He’s not even looking for Jesus. He’s just looking for a little pocket change.
So… why does Peter even offer to heal the man? I’m convinced this wasn’t Peter’s idea. I’m convinced the Spirit prompted him to do it (just like at Pentecost). And I believe that the Spirit did what He did to draw THIS crowd - just like the He drew the crowd at Pentecost.
Did you realize you have the SAME SPIRIT inside you that Peter had inside of him? In fact Romans 8:11 says “…the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you…” Now granted we can’t do all the cool stuff Peter could do (he was an apostle) BUT that same Spirit can prompt you and I to do things, just like He prompted Peter.
ILLUS: Years ago when I was young and foolish I would pick up hitch-hikers on a long trip from Bible College to my internship in Sault St. Marie, Michigan. Every time they got in the car I’d be praying for an opportunity to discuss Jesus. But I was a little on the shy side and asked God to start that part of the conversation. Without exception – had long discussion my passengers.
NOW I want you to pay close attention to what Peter said to this lame man: "I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you." Acts 3:6
Peter is saying I DON’T have any money… but I DO have something!
There are people in churches that say - if I could only do something like Peter or Paul, or one of those other great men/women of Scripture then I could REALLY serve God. If I could only just heal somebody like Peter did, or if I only could speak write like Paul did, or if I only had a few million dollars that I could give to missions - THEN I could do something for God!!!
But that’s not what Jesus said. Jesus said: “Let YOUR light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16