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. Acts 3:1-5

As he (Jesus) went along, he saw a man blind from birth. John 9:1

Later Jesus said: this (his blindness) happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. John 9:3b

A few years ago the word “destiny” was a popular word among sports stars on teams that had achieved or hoped to be on their way to a championship. That idea is wonderful when everything aligns to fulfill your dreams. But when you or someone close to you has been born with an irreversible, debilitating condition as were the two men portrayed in the scriptures above, what goes through your mind?

Do you think “Jesus could heal that condition instantly”? Are you often praying and seeking for a miracle? Some branches of Christian theology hold that Jesus healed everyone in the crowds around Him and the only reason for experiencing continuing health issues is lack of faith. Maybe you’ve lost your patience with these ideas. Are you ready to hope again?

For a moment, let’s enter into the scene at the temple gate depicted in Acts 3:1-5. This gate was likely one Jesus had passed many times during his ministry and this lame man was there daily to ask for money. Why didn’t Jesus heal him during one of the times He passed by? Could it be that Jesus deliberately saved this top level miracle to establish the authority of His disciples to be part of completing an “unfinished work” in His name?

In John 9:3 Jesus makes clear the reason that the blind man was born blind was so Jesus could finish a work only the Creator God could do. This was also true of the man born lame.

Modern medical research regularly reveals unseen conditions that seem to qualify all of us as having some kind of unfinished work that only our Creator God can complete. The Apostle Paul expresses this idea about the believers in Philippi when he says: “I am confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6)

We see unfinished work all around us. Jesus intends for us to enter into His work under the direction of the Holy Spirit. Like Peter and John, we must wait for the opening He gives us to act. Like Paul, we must pray for those He has called us to love.

Has the Holy Spirit brought someone to mind as you read these scriptures? Pray and act as the Holy Spirit directs.

By Kathleen Petersen

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