And a man lame from birth was being carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple that is called the Beautiful Gate to ask alms of those entering the temple. Acts 3:2
Fresh off a Spirit-filled sermon, thousands of new Jesus followers, and passionate fellowship with believers, John and Peter walk the familiar steps to the temple at the hour of prayer.
Crowds gather, including the usual beggars. Friends carry a grown man, lame from birth, to the Beautiful Gate outside the temple. But he isn’t feeling very beautiful. Day after day others hoist him up and then lay him down at the gate. Day after day he begs for spare coins to make it to the next day. This is his lot, and he’s learned to make do. He has long since lost hope of anything more. On the outside he lays, and on the outside, he stays. Money for survival is what he needs, and this is the best place to get it.
Countless times Peter and John likely saw this man outside the temple. Perhaps they have even given him a coin or two. But today is different. The Holy Spirit speaks something in their soul about this man. Peter and John both feel it and direct their gaze on him. I imagine faith and power burning inside them ready to explode. Is that what it feels like?
“Look at us,” Peter says to the man. Don’t just see us; LOOK AT US; fix your eyes here.
The man looks up at Peter hopeful, expectant.
“I have no silver and gold…” Peter says. The man likely looks down, his countenance changed. The thing he expected, hoped for, needed isn’t going to come from this crew.
“…but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!” Peter commands as he reaches out and takes the man by the right hand, raising him up to walk for the first time.
Questions: Are we asking for the right things? Are we seeking a meager handout or healing?