One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon. Now a man who was lame from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into 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 them his attention, expecting to get something from them. Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do 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. When all the people saw him walking and praising God, they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.” … “By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has completely healed him, as you can all see.” Acts 3:1-10,16 NIV
“She gave this name to the LORD who spoke to her: ‘You are the God who sees me, ‘for she said, ‘I have now seen the One who sees me.’” Genesis 16:13 NIV
Many accounts of Jesus healing a disabled person begin with the statement “Jesus saw”. The words saw, looked, and recognized are prominent in this passage. It is important to notice words that are repeated because often repetition is used to emphasize an important concept. Jesus saw people who were blind, lame, deaf, mentally ill, bleeding and hurting. Read Acts 3:1-10 & 16 again. Take note of how many times the words saw, see, look or recognized occurs.
The NIV says that Peter and John “looked straight at him,” Acts 3:4. These Apostles of Jesus did not simply pass this disabled beggar by, but instead they clearly saw this man’s predicament and had compassion on him. Both Peter and John had observed Jesus acting in a similar manner many times in the previous three years. Rejoice with me that we have a God who sees us! He is a God who knows us – not just who we would like to be, but who we actually are.
This man expected to get money – so he could purchase his next meal. Peter and John told him they had no money to give, but instead they healed him, in the name of Jesus Christ. This lame man was focused on his next meal, and could not see past that. But Peter and John were able to give him a transformed future – here on earth and beyond. Peter and John were able to give this man a different perspective – an eternal one. This unnamed formerly lame man was given an unexpected gift – healing of his body and soul.
Has God given you an unexpected gift? Are there people in your life that you need to see and not pass by? Are there miracles or answered prayers that you need to rejoice over in the same way this man did? Luke tells us he was “walking and jumping and praising God,” Acts 3:8. Think over the past week, month or year. See if you can make a list of answered prayers, people you are thankful for, insights you have gained from scripture, or a gift God has given you. Thank God for your list. Perhaps someone on your list could use a thank you or an encouraging note. Let’s rejoice and praise God – for seeing us and for giving us unexpected gifts!
By Grace Hunter