This act of healing is one of many such miracles we can read about throughout the Bible. However, as I think of some of them now, it seems that most of the stories of healing are told to demonstrate the importance and power of faith in the Lord. Here, though, Peter takes the opportunity to do two things. Firstly he gives the beggar a gift of far greater value than what he is asking for. In so doing, Peter is able to demonstrate the astounding generosity of God’s provision. He gives him what he really needs, not just what he is asking for. Secondly, through healing this well known lame man, he creates immediate interest and (following on from the passage below) takes the opportunity to tell the crowd the good news of Jesus Christ. Here Peter uses this miraculous healing to show the power of God and give a flavour of God’s glory to the people round about. It’s not so much an answer to prayer as an active demonstration of the presence and actuality of the living God.
Acts 3:1-8 NLT
Peter and John went to the Temple one afternoon to take part in the three o’clock prayer service. As they approached the Temple, a man lame from birth was being carried in. Each day he was put beside the Temple Gate, so he could beg from the people going into the temple. When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for some money.
Peter and John looked at him intently, and Peter said, “Look at us!” the lame man looked at them eagerly, expecting some money. But Peter said, “I don’t have any silver or gold for you. But I’ll give you what I have. In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, get up and walk!”
Then Peter took the lame man by the right hand and helped him up. And as he did, the man’s feet and ankles were instantly healed and strengthened. He jumped up, stood on his feet, and began to walk! Then, walking, leaping, and praising God, he went into the Temple with them.
Very often as I read of the miraculous healing power, Jesus and his disciples after him were able to show, I wonder (and doubt) if I could also call upon the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene and actually see a man physically healed immediately. Until such time as the Lord sees fit to reveal the truth of this power of healing to me, my goal will be simple. I will focus on giving what I have to give and worry less about what I can’t give. People may well want all sorts of things that I have no power to give them, but the Lord will help me give them what they really need. Many don’t know they need the Lord. My goal is to seize the opportunities God gives me to tell them about Jesus and point them in his direction. After all, it is not in my power to heal people’s lameness either physically or spiritually. Healing, both physical and spiritual, is not for us to understand. It is in God’s hands, not ours.
2 Samuel 23:24-24:25, Acts 3:1-26, Psalms 123:1-4, Proverbs 16:21-23