There’s a lot to learn from the story about the lame man being healed – from the lame man himself, to Peter and John, to all the people who witnessed this miracle. The faith these apostles showed speaks volumes of their personal relationships with God. Not only their faith, but their witnesses were undeniable. We can learn a ton from them – here’s the story from Acts 3:1-16:
“Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being 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 of them that entered into the temple; Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms. And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us. And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them. Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: 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. And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God: And they knew that it was he which sat for alms at the Beautiful gate of the temple: and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him. And as the lame man which was healed held Peter and John, all the people ran together unto them in the porch that is called Solomon’s, greatly wondering. And when Peter saw it, he answered unto the people, Ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this? or why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk? The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let him go. But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you; And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses. And his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.”
So, let’s first look at the main character of the story, the lame man. We really don’t know a whole lot about his background, whether he believed in God or not. Basically all we know about him is that he was about 40 years old and he hadn’t been able to walk since he was born. One thing is for sure – he was open to anything the apostles had to say to him that could help him in any way. They witnessed to him, and he listened. I think we can learn from them in terms of our witnessing today: they didn’t walk by like everyone else and not even try to talk to him. Instead they cared about him, a stranger, and selflessly tried to help him in any way, no matter who was around.
Sometimes I think that we are just not willing to reach out to people we don’t know very well because we’re not sure how they will react to what we say. But the apostles didn’t care – it didn’t matter to them that they didn’t know this man. And just like them, we shouldn’t worry what the reaction will be to our friends or loved ones. Our job is to reach out to them and tell them about the truth. Matthew 28:19-20a says, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.” When we can help them in any way they need, and we do help them, that’s what is most important. Sometimes, someone will be non-responsive with any sort of conversation about God, but sometimes people will surprise you by being completely open to any help you have to offer.
I like to think about ways that these accounts relate to our everyday lives. This lame man is kind of like a similarity of the world. He was lying essentially before God and his church, asking even begging for help. This is the same situation of the world today – people want and need help, and it is truly up to us to open our eyes and recognize these needs. We need to let them in and help them.
Another thing about the lame man is that he was around when Jesus was healing the sick and performing many, many miracles. But for whatever reason, Jesus did not heal this man. But although He didn’t, God had plans for the lame man to become well. Through Jesus’ Disciples, a miracle would be performed. He was healed in God’s time, after he may have thought it would never happen. But God had pinpointed him to be healed in a less-conventional way than others were being healed. Because of this, the people who witnessed this miracle were dually blessed because not only did they see this miracle, but they saw that day that miracles come in all different forms and through different people. They really saw the power of God through this miracle, maybe more so than they would have if Jesus himself would have physically healed him. They saw His power and were amazed and astonished.
Next, you have Peter and John. I think the main thing I learned about them was that they were living God’s Will – no doubt about it! Their lives were so in tune with God that their eyes were always open to others’ needs. I know that a lot of times, we can act selfishly. We have our blinders on and never even think about what anyone around us needs. These disciples were nothing like that in this instance.
Their faith was impeccable here, too. They truly didn’t even think twice about the help that they, only with God’s help, could do for the lame man. To live like this definitely takes a lot of effort, as you all probably know. The main ingredients it takes are prayer, study, living in God’s Will, and having the faith it takes to believe. Overall – being God’s servant.
Then, there’s the miracle itself. God is just as able to perform now as He was then. I think we have to realize that as servants, God still works miracles, and he works through us. We can be the vehicles if we would just allow that to happen.
Miracles happen today, and they occur with us being the absolutely most in-tune servants for God. We have to be looking for any and every way that we can be an impetus for miracles that can and are performed today.
A miracle is something, no matter how insignificant or gigantic it may seem, that changes someone’s life. If you think about that, why would we not make the biggest effort to help make miracles happen in every way possible? It’s up to us to be aware of our surroundings and our loved ones’ needs. If we do that and we are constantly making sure we are in check with serving God in every way possible, we can and will be the vehicles we need to be to enable miracles in our lives today.
Finally, there is a lot to learn from the audience as well. They instantly believed. They were filled with wonder and amazement. What I learned from looking at the audience’s perspective is that when we touch one person with God’s love, we really have the potential to reach hundreds and hundreds of others. The man, once he was healed, headed into the temple for the service. He praised God first-hand. No doubt the disciples who saw the man praising God were blessed as well. And not only them but every single person in the audience too!
This is such a wonderful scripture because there is just so, so much to gain from it. I think to sum it all up.Peter and John helped one man. But through that miracle, every single person around was blessed and knew that God was on the scene. That was undeniable, and the audience realized that.
Just like the disciples healed a physically lame person – through God, of course – there are people we know now that are blind or lame or sick or paralyzed somehow spiritually. We can help these people through God our Father. “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me,” (Philippians 4:13). “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus,” (Philippians 4:19).
Anyone can be a wonderful servant. Let’s let Him work miracles through us; after all, we are merely a shell for God to work in and through us.