Dave’s sermon this morning focussed on Acts 3:1-8, showing us the power of God to heal completely. Here, Peter and John, on their way to the temple to pray in the afternoon, encountered a man crippled from birth, begging for money. They may not have had silver or gold to give to him, but they had received power from God on the Day of Pentecost, and that power transformed the man from a human tragedy through a heavenly touch.
Pentecostal power is not given to us so we can become an exclusive club, content with power for our sakes. We must never be content to simply sing the old hymn, “Standing On The Promises” while all we are doing is sitting in the premises (or in our own homes, as is currently the case!) This power is given to transform lives, and though we may feel that we have nothing to give to others, the truth is that behind the affluence and apparent self-satisfaction all around us, there are hurting people desperately in need of God’s heavenly touch, which we can offer through His power in us.
A Human Tragedy
This man had been crippled from birth and had never known the pleasures and joys of childhood, learning to walk, run and play with other children. He was entirely dependent on others to bring him to the Temple gates to beg. All he could do was beg, to sit there, and hope that people would have pity on him. This man symbolises for us the reality of tragedy in life. As we look at him, we are reminded that everywhere around us there is human hurt, human suffering, and human tragedy. Sometimes it shows itself through a physical affliction such as this man had, but more often it goes unseen to human eyes. For every one who is crippled physically, there are literally tens of thousands who are crippled emotionally and there are hundreds of thousands who are crippled spiritually.
How many of those we work with, how many of our friends or neighbours, who appear outwardly to be doing OK, are inwardly struggling? They are struggling financially. They don’t know what to do with their children.Their marriages are falling apart. Their job is hanging by a thread. They’ve lost all self-esteem. They’re guilty and depressed and don’t know where to turn. Behind every door there is human need. Every person has a story to tell, including us; each person needs Jesus.
A Healing Touch
This man had no expectation of meeting with God or being healed, and many people today simply don’t see the need for God or think that the church has anything to offer them. Peter and John knew their lives had been turned around by Jesus and now they wanted to share what they had received. And because of that, they weren’t in a hurry. They had time for people. After all, Jesus always did. In the midst of His busy schedule, He always had time for the individual. His ministry was to people and so was theirs. The man wanted money, but needed healing, and healing was what they offered through the outstretched touch of their hands. The apostles didn’t have silver and gold, but they had the power of God.
What we need are not possessions, but power. Power to touch people’s lives with the presence of the living God. Power to reach out to people and lift them up out of their tragic circumstances and give them hope and healing, friendship and fellowship.
A Heavenly Transformation
By the power of Jesus of Nazareth, the lame man was healed… and not only could walk, but began to run and jump and praise God! More than just the tremendous news of healing, the man could now live in communion with God every day. He had been healed in more ways than one. What else could he do but rejoice? And that is precisely what he did. He was walking and leaping and praising God. He was ecstatic.
People need the healing and transformation that Jesus brings, and we have what they need. May we have the courage and faith to step out as Peter and John did, knowing God has given us HIs power through the Holy Spirit living in us.