Peter and John were heading to prayer at 3 pm and in the midst of that God showed up. hat a lesson for us. Give God His time and He’ll show up in unexpected ways. As they’re heading to prayer they are stopped by a man who lived everyday being carried and set outside the gate. He only survived on the kindness of strangers and others to get by.
He thinks once he has Peter and John’s attention that he’s going to get a payout from them but his life is altered forever. Sometimes I think God is going to use people to give me a blessing in a certain way and then He does a total different thing with them. It’s not what I expect. It’s different yet better. They don’t give him money but instead they command him to rise and walk. They don’t stop and pray they just say get up in Jesus name. What faith is this? What boldness…
We need to speak this way of Jesus. If only we thought as highly of the power of Jesus as they did. If only we had the faith in His name. We can address social justice issues and I think we should. However if we address only those physical things and leave the spiritual undone we are dooming people for eternity. Our spiritual help should automatically make the physical better.
We can’t just address the fruit of a problem, we must address the root of the problem. Had they just given him money his root issue remains unresolved. How can we be better at seeing the fruit instead of the fruit? They had no money but the gave him what they had. Even when we feel like we have nothing to give, we have the hope of Jesus.
The man was instantly healed and jumped up. God brought immediate strength and healing. This caused him to praise God and cause a scene. People came to look. When you are preaching Jesus and seeing people set free people will just show up to watch what’s happening. This gave Peter a platform to preach. How did I get my platform? What do I do with it?
Look how Peter sets up his message in the temple. In verse 13 he tells the people that the God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob did this thing. He ties something they know and agree on to Jesus immediately. Then he makes them feel the tension of their part in killing Jesus. This is against most modern preaching strategies out there today. He basically lays on the guilt making it clear that they were complicit in the death of Jesus.
He made them feel the weight of their rejection but he makes sure they know that despite their mistake God raised Jesus form the dead. He doesn’t leave them in despair. He shows them the path that God has given them through Jesus. He shares how this was foretold and again ties Jesus to the prophets they knew and believed. He shows them were the true hope can be found.
He calls them to repentance. His goal isn’t to make them feel good about themselves. His goal is pointing them to the resurrected king. He acknowledges their ignorance in slaying Jesus and does everything he can to rectify their ignorance. Lord that we would point people back to you in the midst of our sin and ignorance. May we be a healing force in Your name and may our platform always be about You and not us.