I love this story. It starts with Peter and John going to the temple to pray at 3:00 in the afternoon. The New American Standard says “the ninth hour, the hour of prayer.” So it was a planned service, a time of prayer. Peter and John are participating in this. I don’t want to get into a soap box on this, but they were where they should have been, attending the local worship service. They were not at Meijer getting groceries or attending the local movie theatre or even at the February Chile cook off (which actually sounds pretty good right now), they were participating in the local worship service. Ok, done with soap box.
On their way to the temple, there sits a lame man. Others have passed this man by, but Peter and John stop by and look at him with intentionality (“Peter and John looked at him intently.”). How many times do we look at people with intentionality as we pass by them? To look with intentionality to me means we look at them purposefully, as if to offer some kind of help. Too many times people pass right by those with needs (and people did 2,000 years ago as this man was at the temple gate all the time looking for help.
The man looked at Peter and John eagerly, expecting to receive something. He saw Pete and John and thought they could help him. He was expecting to receive something, perhaps money.
Peter says, “I don’t have any silver or gold for you. But I’ll give you what I have. In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, get up and walk.” (Acts 3:6 NLT).
Peter may not have had what the man thought he needed, but Peter did have what God knew the man needed. The result is the man is healed, leaping and praising God!
Verse 12 is sometimes overlooked, but it says “Peter saw his opportunity and addressed the crowd.” A spiritual and physical healing had just occurred, and people are amazed. Peter realizes this is one of those teachable moment type situations, so he takes the opportunity and proclaims Jesus as the one who can truly save and bring times of refreshment in
PC thoughts :
While we are busy about the Lord’s work – attending our launch team services (going to church), planting a church, and our other areas of life, there are people that we come across with physical and spiritual needs.
Question: do we look at them – maybe even with some intentionality (like putting on our calendars a visit to ______ and then following through)??
When those “outside” the church look at “us” (Christ followers) they have expectations of us.
Do we offer times to pray with them, to offer prayers of healing and offer Jesus?
(It’s ok to not always have the “right” answers or to not be able to solve their issues but “money and gold have we none but Jesus.”)
And of course, always be ready to look for an “opportunity” to share Jesus!