Wednesday, June 13, 2012

I have no silver and gold. In Jesus' name, rise up and walk. - Acts 3

(Click here to read Acts 3) 

Acts 3:1-8 (ESV)
Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. 2 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. 3 Seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked to receive alms. 4 And Peter directed his gaze at him, as did John, and said, “Look at us.” 5 And he fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them. 6 But Peter said, “I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!” 7 And he took him by the right hand and raised him up, and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong. 8 And leaping up he stood and began to walk, and entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God.

This healing miracle, the first one recorded in the New Testament by Jesus' disciples, dramatically set the new community apart from other radical political resistance groups.

This was a community of ambassadors, already free citizens of another nation, the Kingdom of God. They prayed daily for their provision, and thus were provided for. They forgave their enemies. They prayed that God's Kingdom would come on earth, and they lived as though it were already so. The Holy Spirit was the living force within them, the seed of this Kingdom that manifest its reality in their lives.

In the Kingdom, this man could be healed. In the Kingdom, he didn't need to beg. In the Kingdom, he raised his head to all like an equal, for he was no more poor or sick or destitute than the man who claimed him healed in the name of Jesus. In the name of Jesus, the poor and the imprisoned and the oppressed were set free.

This was something new. This community didn't fight for freedom. This community lived the free gift of freedom and justice and grace they had been given. They announced the truth that all could be free. Upon believing and acting upon it, all that would keep them bound would crumble.

This was not a collective or a democratic community. Unity was found in mutual submission to one another and to total submission to the word of God. The complete equality recognized the gift of teaching and even leadership in the apostles and later the elders, but this leadership was entirely different than the leadership demonstrated by the kings of the age. These leaders were the least among the community, the servants of all, and some of the first to follow Jesus to execution at the empire's hand.

The people had seen resistance groups. They had seen communes and zealots and fundamentalists. But this was true power, the power to set people free. This they had never seen, and they came quickly to see for themselves.

Acts 3:12 (ESV)
And when Peter saw it he addressed the people: “Men of Israel, why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we have made him walk?


Peter took no glory for himself. As he had at Pentecost, he immediately pointed his finger straight to Jesus. It was in his name, by the authority of the King that conquered death, that this man was healed.

In humble submission to the scripture, and the supernatural boldness he had been given by the Holy Spirit, Peter preached the truth of Jesus death and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins, as foretold in the scriptures. He told the people to repent and receive the Kingdom of God. He invited them to join the Kingdom movement before Jesus returned.

And all of this, still in Jerusalem, the same city where Jesus and his disciples had occupied the temple only a few weeks before. For this, he had been executed.

But the authorities were about to discover that when they thought they'd removed a stray weed, they'd only scattered wide the seeds to the wind. This wasn't going to stop.


v2 – That means Jesus would have seen him in his lifetime. Though the Messiah had walked by him during his ministry, this was the day for his healing.
v4 – He probably had his head down. He didn't have to be downcast in the Kingdom.
vv7-8 – First recorded church miracle. He gave glory to God immediately
vv11-26 – The miracle gives opportunity for Peter to share the gospel.
v12 – No glory taken for themselves. All credit to God
v15 – Jesus is the “Author of Life”
v16 – by FAITH in the NAME of JESUS

(Click here to read Acts 3)

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