“One day Peter and John were going up to the Temple at the time of prayer – at three in the afternoon. Now a man crippled from birth was being carried to the Temple gate called beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going up to the Temple courts. When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then peter said, “Look at us!” So the man gave him his attention, expecting to get something from them. Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the Temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God.”
What a wonderful passage of Scripture. Luke has been presenting the account of the birth of the Church on the day of Pentecost. After describing the powerful scene of the events of that day and Peter’s first Christian sermon followed by the conversion of three thousand people, Luke then gives us, in chapter 2:42-47 a description of the routine life of the Church. He describes how the LORD was working powerfully among His people bring people daily to salvation. Part of his description focuses upon certain sigh miracles which the Apostles where used to accomplish. These were miracles which demonstrated that the LORD Jesus Christ was in fact God’s promised Messiah come to redeem for Himself a people. The miracle was meant to bring people to faith in Christ. Usually such a miracle pointed to Biblical teaching which was meant to be believed and obeyed.
Luke begins chapter three with a clear connection to this teaching at the end of chapter two. “One Day,” is the way this chapter begins. Luke is telling us that this will be an illustration of the type of things that the LORD was doing. In looking at this miracle we are immediately confronted by several facts about the New Testament Church.
1) This Church was committed to prayer. It was the time for prayer at the Temple and Peter and John were on their way up to the House of God to pray with others. They had come to understand that there was nothing more important than communion with God in Christ. They knew that God answered prayer in the Name of Jesus and so they availed themselves of every opportunity to pray. What place does prayer have in your life or Church?
2) The sign miracle glorified the Name of the LORD Jesus Christ. This was its purpose. The LORD dealt with the crippled man’s real need. He was begging for money. What he needed was healing. It was this that the LORD gave to him through the ministry of the Apostles. The whole event pointed beyond just a restoration to health however because the man’s response I the praise God and to believe in Jesus as the Messiah. Luke makes this clear in the third chapter. What we are called to be and to do as Christians must always point to that one who can meet the deepest needs of our lives. We are called to live out a faith that is centred upon the LORD Jesus Christ as the Messiah who delivers us from all that separates us from communion with God.
3) The text breathes with faith. Peter and John are revealed as men who have faith in the power of the LORD Jesus Christ to answer prayer and fulfill His promises. So too is the crippled man revealed to be a man who comes to faith in Christ. Are you finding that you are increasingly being called to a life of faith? For this is a key point in God’s plan for our discipleship.