Summary: Acts 3 tells us of a beggar who received much more than he expected. We live in a world where silver and gold has become a god to and for many people; if they only knew that the Lord has much more to offer than the world could ever give them.
When Jesus called on His disciples, He did not sit them down one by one to negotiate their salary. He did not ask them for a resume, He did not ask them for a reference because no one knew them better than He did. There’s no explanation in the Bible as why He chose His 12 disciples, but among these 12 was Peter and John. They were both fisherman; I guess by now you can call them retired fisherman because Jesus changed their job description, He said to them, “Follow Me, and I’ll make you fishers of men…” and so their job description was to preach the Gospel to Israel and to lay hands on the sick, blind, and lame. That was a part of their job description. The job or the task that God gave didn’t come with money or fringe benefits, there was no silver & gold included but God did give them the power to do great things.
In fact, in Luke 24: 49 Jesus told them, “…I will send the Holy Spirit, just as my Father promised. But stay here in the city until the Holy Spirit comes and fills you with power from heaven.” Before they could accomplish their mission the church needed something else—and it wasn’t silver & gold. The church needed the power of God and these two preachers of the early church, Peter & John was more concerned about the power that comes only from God than the perceived power that comes from money. Right now there are people who preach on the power of money and say nothing about the power of God. They are more concerned about what money can do rather than what God do, because they are under the illusion that money can buy anything.
If you look in the eighth chapter of Acts there was a man named Simon who thought he could buy God’s power and Peter told him in so many words that God’s power was not for sale. But when I look at some of today’s electronic preachers (you know some of the ones on TV) I can see that spirit is still alive & well—but God’s power is only given to those who have faith & trust Him and not in this world. Peter & John did not have any money but they did have something that money couldn’t buy. Did you know that money is the single biggest killer in life? I don’t mean physical life, but I mean “life” in the sense of joy, relationships, acceptance, purpose, and love.
Not money itself but the love of money kills all those things that really matter. Money has become a god to many people today, if you think that nobody cares if you’re alive just miss a couple of car payments—and you’ll see that their mind is on you almost 24 hours a day. In fact, today there are too many people who are willing to spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they really don’t want, in order to impress people they really don’t like. Here in the text we find the miracle of healing, the miracle was of God and the instruments that God chose to use was just two broke preachers—they didn’t have any money but they did have was power from on high. They didn’t pastor a mega church, they didn’t live in the Hamptons or Park Avenue, they didn’t drive a big expensive car, they didn’t wear $1000 tailor-made suits or anything like that, they did not graduate from Yale or Harvard but they were God’s preachers.
It’s true that there are some preachers who are money’s preachers but these two men were for sure God’s preachers. In fact if you read the fourth chapter of Acts they are described as being bold preachers since the day of Pentecost, and this boldness of theirs came as a result of being close to Jesus. At first they were thought of as being “unlearned & ignorant men” it was not due to their education or their learning or a huge bank account that caused people recognize who they were—it was the fact that they were with Jesus that made all the difference in the world—it gave them boldness in their preaching. And that’s what we need more of today when it comes to the preached Word, we need preachers like Peter and John who are not concerned about how comfortable they make folk feel. In fact, people who are headed in the wrong direction need to feel uncomfortable if that’s what it takes to help them in their relationship with Jesus Christ.
Peter & John were broke preachers but they were preachers—and also in the fourth chapter of Acts they were even locked up because they dare to tell the truth about Jesus’ death & resurrection—and so being a poor preacher financially gave them more leverage because they were not constrained by a paycheck, they were not afraid of losing their salary and their position or their popularity because they made somebody angry over what they preached. They were free to preach the whole Word of God and not just one those “feel good sermons” if you were headed for life of eternal damnation they did not hesitate to let you know. They did not have to report to tricky trustees and devilish deacons, there was no butterflies, unicorns or flowers in their preaching, they were not motivational speakers, they were just God’s preachers assigned to preached the Word of God and then allow the chips to fall where they may.