Better Than Gold!
Acts 3:1-26; 2:1-4; The Acts of the Apostles, pp. 57-60
When I help others, I show them Jesus.
“We would like to see Jesus” (John 12:21).
Mother! Mother!” shouted Liam, “this is a great game. We played it at school one day. Can we get it? Please?”
Mother wanted to buy the game for Liam, but other things came first. “I just don’t think we can afford it right now. I know you’re disappointed, Liam,” added Mother. “But we have each other, and God has blessed us in many other ways as well.”
“That’s OK,” smiled Liam.
“I’m glad we have each other and many other blessings from God. That’s better than money.”
In today’s story Peter and John shared something better than money with a beggar. How do you think the beggar felt?
The afternoon sun warmed them as they hurried through the streets toward the Temple. It was almost time for the evening sacrifice.
Peter and John approached the Beautiful Gate. They smiled at the man sitting by the gate. He sat with his twisted ankles bent underneath him. Day after day helpful friends carried him to the same spot. There he could beg for money from the worshippers.
As Peter and John walked by, the man held out his hand. Perhaps these two smiling men would give him a little money.
Suddenly the Holy Spirit stirred Peter and John. They should do something! They stopped and turned to the beggar. “Look at us!” Peter said.
Hope began to rise within the beggar. The men were going to give him money! But Peter’s next words dashed the hope completely. “I don’t have any silver or gold,” he said.
The man looked wearily away. But Peter was not through talking. “I do have something else I can give you,” he continued. “By the power of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, stand up and walk!”
The man with the twisted legs stared at Peter. Because of his bent legs, he had never learned to walk.
Peter leaned over, gently took the man’s hand, and lifted him up. Immediately his feet and ankles became strong.
He could barely believe it! The beggar walked. He jumped. He jumped some more. And he began to praise God! Loudly! His smile stretched from one ear to the other. The beggar went into the Temple with Peter and John. Everybody recognized him. People had seen him begging for a long time. And now he was not only walking; he was jumping! He followed Peter and John to Solomon’s Porch, a part of the Temple. A crowd followed.
Peter saw the people gathering, questioning, shouting excitedly. He looked from their astonished faces to the beaming face of the beggar. Peter chuckled to himself. He knew why the Holy Spirit had healed the crippled man. The Spirit wanted to give Peter another opportunity to talk about the Lord. And Peter took it! “Men of Israel,” he began, “why are you surprised? You are looking at us as if it were our own power that made this man walk. No! It was the power of Jesus that made this man well. You can see this man, and you know him. He was made completely well because of trust in Jesus.” (See Acts 3:12, 16, ICB.)
Peter told them that Jesus was the Messiah they had been waiting for. He told them they needed to follow Jesus and that He forgives sins.
Many, many people believed! They believed because God had used Peter and John to heal the man.