"Showing the way, Teaching the truth,
Experiencing the life in Christ"
Part 9 - The Healing of a Lame Man
(Acts 3:6, NKJV)
“Peter said, ‘Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you:
In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.’”
I. The Story
In the first eleven verses of Acts chapter 3 Luke tells the story of “The Healing of a Lame Man.” Let’s read the story: “Now Peter and John went up together to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms from those who entered the temple; who, seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked for alms. And fixing his eyes on him, with John, Peter said, ‘Look at us.’ So he gave them his attention, expecting to receive something from them. Then Peter said, ‘Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.’ And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. So he, leaping up, stood and walked and entered the temple with them—walking, leaping, and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God. Then they knew that it was he who sat begging alms at the Beautiful Gate of the temple; and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him. Now as the lame man who was healed held on to Peter and John, all the people ran together to them in the porch which is called Solomon’s, greatly amazed” (Acts 3:1-11, NKJV).
II. Lessons from the Story
As incredible as this story is, it becomes even more profound when you identify and understand five important spiritual lessons from the story. Let’s examine them.
First, most ministry opportunities occur during the ordinary routine of life. Peter and John weren’t out looking for someone who needed a miracle. They were on their way to a prayer meeting when God brought this nameless lame man into their lives. The thing that made Peter and John different than the hundreds of others, who were on their way to the prayer meeting, was that they didn’t view this lame man as an interruption to their busy schedule. They viewed him as an opportunity for service—an opportunity to set Jesus on display by meeting the need of one who couldn’t meet that need himself! So they took the time to stop and serve. Luke wrote, “Peter and John went up together to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms from those who entered the temple; who, seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked for alms” (Acts 3:1-3, NKJV).
Second, sometimes people who aren’t looking for a miracle get one. There is a lot of teaching and preaching in our day to the effect that “if you don’t get a miracle when you need one it’s because you don’t have enough faith to receive it.” But this story disproves that kind of teaching. There is no indication that this lame man was looking for a miracle. There isn’t even any indication that he had any faith in Jesus at all. He was simply begging—hoping to receive a few coins from Peter and John. Luke described the scene when he wrote, “Fixing his eyes on him, with John, Peter said, ‘Look at us.’ So he gave them his attention, expecting to receive something from them” (Acts 3:4-5, NKJV). What he received was far more that what he expected! Rather than a few gold or silver coins that would last only a few days, he received a miracle of healing that would change the rest of his life! He would never need to beg again…
Third, you can’t give what you don’t have. What a simple truth! You can’t give what you don’t have…but that statement takes on profound, life-changing, miracle-working implications when you also understand that you are required to give what you do have! That’s what Peter was talking about when he said to the lame beggar, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk” (Acts 3:6, NKJV). What Peter had was the spiritual gift of healing, and he was willing to give healing to this lame man “in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.” Peter didn’t want credit for this miracle of healing. He wanted Jesus to get the credit. So he did it in His name!
Fourth, sometimes people need a little extra encouragement to receive their miracle. Peter spoke miracle-working words, but it appears that at that moment nothing happened. Maybe the beggar didn’t know how to receive what had just been offered to him. So Luke recorded what Peter did next. He wrote, “He took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. So he, leaping up, stood and walked and entered the temple with them—walking, leaping, and praising God” (Acts 3:7-8, NIV). This guy needed a little extra help in order to receive his miracle. It wasn’t until Peter “took him by the right hand and lifted him up” that he received his miracle—“immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.”
Fifth, the primary purpose of the healing ministry of the apostles was evangelism. This story of the healing of the lame beggar is the first episode of miraculous healing after the death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus…and it provided a wonderful opportunity for people to witness the power of the resurrected Jesus and believe in Him. Miracles of healing were more for the benefit of non-believing spectators than for the benefit of the recipient of the healing. You see, the eternal spiritual rescue of people is a higher priority with God than the temporary physical healing of people. Notice what Luke wrote, “And all the people saw him walking and praising God. Then they knew that it was he who sat begging alms at the Beautiful Gate of the temple; and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him. Now as the lame man who was healed held on to Peter and John, all the people ran together to them in the porch which is called Solomon’s, greatly amazed. So when Peter saw it, he responded to the people [basically, he preached a sermon about Jesus, and as a result]… many of those who heard the word believed; and the number of the men came to be about five thousand” (Acts 3:9-12a…4:4, NKJV). God worked a miracle, one man was healed, Peter preached a sermon, and 5,000 men were saved! It appears that the miracle was more about the 5,000 getting saved than the one getting healed.
God’s highest priority is evangelism—explaining the “Good News” to people in a way that they can understand it, believe it, and receive eternal life. That’s why Jesus said, “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16, NIV).
Peter explained how highly God prioritizes evangelism when he wrote, “The Lord is…patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (II Peter 3:9, NIV).
Jesus explained to Paul the emphasis God places on evangelism when He said to him, “I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me” (Acts 26:17b-18, NIV).
Evangelism is such a high priority with God that, near the end of His ministry on Earth, Jesus gave His disciples this command: “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone” (Mark 16:15, NLT).
Part 10 - Peter Preaches Again
(Acts 3:11-12a, NKJV)
“As the lame man who was healed held on to Peter and John
all the people ran together to them in the porch which is called Solomon’s, greatly amazed.
So when Peter saw it, he responded to the people…”
Peter saw God’s healing of the crippled beggar as an opportunity to preach another sermon about Jesus! Notice how the scene unfolded: “As the lame man who was healed held on to Peter and John all the people ran together to them in the porch which is called Solomon’s, greatly amazed” (Acts 3:11, NKJV). Word evidently spread about the miraculous healing, and as the former crippled beggar embraced Peter and John out of gratitude for the healing he had received, a crowd of curious onlookers gathered.
Peter’s response to this situation was a demonstration of classic Christianity at its best. Luke described it when he wrote, “When Peter saw it, he responded to the people” (Acts 3:12a, NKJV). Luke then recorded the sermon Peter preached in response to the gathering crowd.
II. Peter’s Sermon
Authentic Christianity never ignores people. It always responds to them by attempting to meet their needs. Peter knew these people needed to hear about Jesus, so he preached a short but powerful sermon about Him. Notice how Peter began his sermon: “Men of Israel, why do you marvel at this? Or why look so intently at us, as though by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified His Servant Jesus, whom you delivered up and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let Him go” (Acts 3:12b-13, NKJV).
Obviously the sermon that follows is going to be about Jesus, not about what Peter and John had done. That’s why Peter began with two questions, “Men of Israel, why do you marvel at this? Or why look so intently at us, as though by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk?” (Acts 3:12, NKJV). Then Peter declared that his sermon would be about how “The God of our fathers, glorified His Servant Jesus” (Acts 3:13a, NKJV). What God has done for the world through His Son Jesus was the theme of Peter’s preaching and should be the theme of our preaching today!
Peter knew that men and women will not be motivated to believe in Jesus unless they first view themselves as guilty of sin. That’s why he described Jesus as the One “Whom you delivered up and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let Him go. But you denied the Holy One and the Just, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, and killed the Prince of life, whom God raised from the dead, of which we are witnesses” (Acts 3:13b-15, NKJV). This same understanding of spiritual truth prompted Paul to write to the believers at Rome, “ Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that…all the world may become guilty before God” (Romans 3:19, NIV).
As proof that “God raised Jesus from the dead,” Peter drew the crowd’s attention back to the miraculous healing of the lame beggar. He said, “And His name, through faith in His name, has made this man strong, whom you see and know. Yes, the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all” (Acts 3:16, NKJV). Jesus’ miraculous healing of the crippled beggar proved that He was indeed alive after being publicly crucified! After all, how could a dead man heal anybody?
When Peter said, “through faith in His name,” he was probably referring to his own faith in Jesus’ ability to heal the crippled beggar, not the faith of the beggar. After all, the beggar wasn’t looking for a miracle. He was only hoping to receive a few gold or silver coins.
As far as Peter was concerned, the only reasonable response for his Jewish audience, in view of Jesus’ resurrection and their guilt, was for them to “repent and be converted.” So He said, “Yet now, brethren, I know that you did it in ignorance, as did also your rulers. But those things which God foretold by the mouth of all His prophets, that the Christ would suffer, He has thus fulfilled. Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out” (Acts 3:17-19a, NKJV). How incredible that when men and women “repent” and are “converted,” their “sins may be blotted out!”
In just a few short phrases Peter explained that after His resurrection Jesus would return to heaven and remain there until He was sent back to earth again. He said, “So that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began” (Acts 3:19b-21, NKJV).
When Jesus returns planet Earth will be restored to the condition in which it existed before it was cursed by Adam’s sin back in the Garden of Eden. That’s what Peter was talking about when he mentioned “the times of restoration of all things.” The curse of sin will be lifted and Jesus will reign as King for the final thousand years of the existence of the Earth upon which we live. Then God will create “a new heaven and a new earth.” John wrote, “I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended…I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years... they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years…Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away’” (Revelation 20:1-3a…4…6b…21:1-4, NIV).
Peter used Scripture with which his Jewish audience was very familiar to prove that what he was preaching about Jesus was indeed true! In fact he was quoting from Deuteronomy 18:15, 18, 19 when he said, “For Moses truly said to the fathers, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your brethren. Him you shall hear in all things, whatever He says to you. And it shall be that every soul who will not hear that Prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people.’ Yes, and all the prophets, from Samuel and those who follow, as many as have spoken, have also foretold these days” (Acts 3:22-24, NKJV). Proper preaching must always be documented by quoting the Scripture to prove the accuracy of what is being preached!
Peter concluded his sermon about Jesus with an evangelistic appeal, explaining that the promise of blessing God had made to their Jewish ancestor Abraham was fulfilled in Christ! He said, “You are sons of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying to Abraham, ‘And in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed.’ To you first, God, having raised up His Servant Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from your iniquities” (Acts 3:25-26, NKJV). Jesus was the “seed” God said would bring blessing to “all the families of the earth.” God kept His promise when “having raised up His Servant Jesus, [He] sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from your iniquities.”
Individuals from “all the families of the earth” can “repent and be converted”—they can turn away from their iniquities—because God “raised up His Servant Jesus” and “sent Him to bless you.” Peter consistently looked for opportunities to preach that Jesus died for the sins of all mankind, and that because God raised Him from the dead Jesus is able to bless men and women by turning them away from their sins! Jesus is still doing that today…
Sunday Service Times
Morning Worship: 10:00 a.m.
M*PACT Kidz: 10:00 a.m.
Helping Hands: 6:00 p.m.
ONE WAY Youth: 6:00 p.m.