Devotional

Greg Huston

Pastor of The Refuge Church

Consider today the scene we read about in Acts, chapter 3. Peter and John, apostles of Jesus, are headed to the temple to pray. As they make their way, they go through a familiar gate and see a man who was lame from birth placed there. 

The Bible is clear that the man identified them and looks away as he asks for money. Just think of how embarrassing this was for him: Peter and John are "gazing upon Him" -- I picture this kind of crazy-eyed stare. Peter says, "Look at us," and the beggar meets their gaze. Now with the man's full attention, Peter continues: "I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk." 

Immediately, the man is healed and starts to walk and jump. People started to recognize this man as the lame beggar they've been walking past at the gate for years. Someone probably said something like, "Hey look! It's Butch!" As Peter sees the people in awe and giving him credit for healing the man, he uses the opportunity to let them know it is not by his or John's power or piety that this man is healed, but by the power of Jesus. Don't you love that approach to ministry -- simply pointing people to Jesus? 

Peter goes on to remind them they denied and killed Jesus -- remember at this point when the events of the book of Acts were taking place, Jesus had recently been crucified, and all of these people had been witnesses to that. Consider Peter's boldness here: he had denied Jesus three times the night of Jesus' betrayal and arrest, and now strongly confronts these people in their denial of Christ. 

To me, this is the greatest miracle in this chapter, and offers an important reminder for all of us. Even though a person fails or falls short in some way, it doesn't mean they can never be restored or speak with authority and confidence on that issue. In fact, sometimes the best teachers are those who have felt the personal sting and shame of failure, but figured out how to move forward with God. King David, amid all his success, failed by committing adultery and murdering his lover's husband. According to the law, he was worthy of death on two accounts; yet God forgave him. But 1 Kings, chapter 1, verse 6 tells us David later failed to correct his children, no doubt because of his own guilt. If you find yourself there today, don't act like David, but be like Peter. 

 

Finally, Peter reminds his audience that Jesus has risen from the dead -- a truth that could not and cannot be disproved. These people were so convinced that 5,000 of them decided to surrender their life to Jesus that day. What a great reminder of the power of the Resurrection just days before we celebrate Easter 2016. I hope you have a great day, and a great Easter celebration.