“Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.”
Invite you to take your Bibles this morning. I’m gonna be looking once again at the book of acts, we’re gonna be in acts chapter three. This morning. Verse is one through 10, and while you’re turning there, if you’re able to do that a little more effectively than I am right now, I’m gonna have you multitask.
And I want you to take out the form that you received as you came into the room today, or came into the building. It looks something like this, or like that it’s up on the, on the board. Um, for those of you that love charts, you’re just giddy with excitement for the majority of you. You’re like, oh my goodness.
Am I supposed to understand all this? Well, I’m gonna just take a couple of minutes to try to walk us through this before we jump into our passage this morning, because we are engaged in a study in the book of acts. Um, the spirit at work to the ends of the earth is the theme we’re following. It’s built around.
The, the outline of the book of acts is acts chapter one, verse eight, where it says, but you will receive power when the holy spirit has come upon you. And you’ll be witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth we’ve been studying in the first chapters of the book of acts, the early church fulfilling these words of Jesus.
The, they have received power from the spirit of God at the day of Pentecost, and now they have begun to be witnesses. For him in Jerusalem. And these first six, seven chapters, which actually comprise seven years, about 80, 29, up through 80 36. These seven years in these seven chapters are presenting to us a church beginning through the power of the spirit to be witnesses to Jesus throughout the city in the surrounding area of Jerusalem.
This chart in a simple way is presenting to us just sort of a snapshot of the fact that these seven chapters, even though they cover seven years, Actually are highlighted by four events and these four events are just one or two day events, but they’re events that, that the, the author Luke uses to try to give an overview of the ongoing life and impact of the early church.
These four events are in acts chapter two. And they’re the, in the grave. You see the gray bars. The first of those is the coming of the spirit at the day of Pentecost in acts chapter two. Then there is the healing of the lame man in acts chapter three and four that we’re beginning to look at today. Then there is the, the hypocrisy of Anani and Safira, and God’s signs of his, his power and glory that is shown in the discipline to them.
And also the ensuing works. He does in the church in chapter six, five in the beginning of chapter six, and then in chapter seven, We have the story of Steven and his works, but particularly his words, these events form the, the, the focus of the book of acts chapter two through seven, as we see the church progressing.
If you look at the, the yellow, simply that’s talking about three of these events actually have a sermon right after them, then you’ll notice the re response of the people. If you see the words there and they’re, they show the impact of these four events, words, like people were astonished. The second one, again, these are quotes.
People were astonished. The next one people were afraid and then people were amazed and en actually enraged. You see these different responses that are taking place, but each of these events also leads into a summary of. What is going on, tells us the response of the people at large. One of the most amazing things that we see after each of these four events is the summary of what is taking place.
Number one, we see first in acts chapter two, the result there, there was the 3000 people in the community believed in Jesus in acts chapter three and four. We see that, uh, 5,000 men, which probably was 10,000 people responded, acts chapter five and six. It says that there were multitudes that believed. And in acts chapter seven, the remarkable statement in that context where it talks about at the fact that many, a great many of the priests believed on Jesus.
We see in the blue, uh, excuse me, in the green. That among the believers, the community is developing. We see prayers becoming a focus sharing in common with one another is becoming a focus. Bold witness is becoming a focus it’s continuing to grow through these seven years illustrated in the events as a result of these four different incidents, but also something else begins.
It begins with this event. There is as demonstrated by the pink boxes opposition that begins to form. There is hostility that begins to happen in the community of the faith and, and, and Luke takes these events and then weaves in them. The summary statements that are letting us know this is transpiring as the early church is going forward.
So this is just a, an overview to give you a picture of that, because today we’re coming to acts chapter three and as we come to our text, We see that this very first miracle that is done by the apostles after the coming of the spirit results in the largest influx of people coming, becoming Christians.
And it also results in the beginning of significant opposition. We’re gonna look at this in chapter three and four over the next handful of weeks. But today I wanna look specifically at the miracle and it is interesting because I believe this miracle stands as an example of all of the miracle miracles, both by Jesus and the disciples.
And we find from this passage, four things we can learn about these miracles, why God has them, what God intends for us in them. So let’s look at this passage. I’d like to read acts chapter three versus one through 10.
Now, Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour, and a man lame from birth was being carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple that is called the beautiful gate to ask ums of those, entering the temple, seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple.
He asked to receive ums and Peter directed his gaze at him and said, as did John and said, look at us. And he fixed his attention on them expecting to receive something from them. But Peter said, 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.
And he took him by the right hand and raised him up. And immediately his feet and ankles were made strong and leaping up. He stood and began to walk and enter the temple with them walking and leaping and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God and recognized him as the one who sat at the beautiful gate of the temple, asking for S and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.
Let’s pray together.
Lord, we love your stories because you tell them for a reason, and God it’s been exciting to me to reflect on the reasons that you tell us the stories of your miracles and Lord, as we, we look this passage and this lame man being healed, I pray that we might learn more about the Christ in whose name he was.
He was healed. Speak to us truth. Open our hearts to things you have for us, please in Jesus name, amen. Wanna look at four things that this miracle provides sort of a grid of understanding the miracles of God, four things they point to number one, they point to God’s power. It says in verse six in the name of Jesus of Nazareth rise up, this is Peter’s response to the layman.
Now, many people today, look at the miracles of God as fictitious or exaggerated stories. They’re looked at as little more, uh, uh, basically like got like a fable with a moral to it, with a good, you know, a good point to it, to help people in their lives. But this miracle as all 14 miracles in the book of acts are presented as authentications of the power of Christ.
They are given us credentials for what he says and what he’s taught and for what he has claimed to have done. The skeptic believes that the miracles of the Bible cannot really have happened because they go against what is known as the laws of nature, but a reading of the Bible and an acquaintance with the God of the Bible causes you to understand that what we call the, the laws of nature are simply the normal ways that God chooses to control and run his universe.
We have in our hallway and a little nightlight. Um, usually you have those for babies. We have ’em for ourselves. Um, but every morning I go down the hallway. And it’s usually dark. Sometimes it’s later, but as I’m going down the hallway, I, I invariably flip that thing off. I turn it off. It’s a, it’s a regular thing.
It’s the way life in our home typically starts. Now Marion could get up and think, ah, the law of nature is operative. The light is out. It was on during the night. It’s out in the morning, but if I over sleep or if I just choose to not turn the nightlight off, I have just stopped. What appears to be a law of nature.
It is the miracles of God are God just choosing to act. In exception to the way he normally runs his universe. Now you may be there and you say, wait, wait a minute. I mean, it’s a little different to talk about you turning your nightlight off, uh, than, than the fact that the sun is going to rise every day.
I mean, we know how that happens. It happens by the rotation of the earth and, and when our, our part of the earth gets towards facing the sun, the sun rises well, interestingly, God actually did stop that very rotation. It was, it’s a perfect example, God, in the book of Joshua, it says he actually caused the sun to stand still.
The idea was the earth did not rotate at time. And for 24 hours there was total daylight. God normally runs his universe and brings sunlight to you and I by causing the earth to rotate. It’s why Jesus is described in act and Colosians chapter one by him. It says he not only created everything, but it makes this remarkable statement.
And in him, everything holds together. He’s running it, he’s controlling it. And when he chooses to not have the earth rotate, he’s not bound by what we call a law. The laws of nature are simply the normal way that to sovereign God orchestrates and controls his universe. Miracles are a moment when God chooses to act in exception to his normal path.
Now we look at laws of nature as something to be that that bind us. For instance, when people die, they remain dead. When people have a medically incurable disease, they are incurable except. When the one who runs his universe chooses to bring them back to life or chooses to cure the incurable as apparently was this man here, God is not bound within what we call the laws of nature.
They are simply the normal way he works. And so when we see miracles, it points us to God. The one who is above apparent loss, but are simply the normal way that he chooses to operate a miracle is when he acts in an exceptional. The second thing we find about a miracle is a miracle points to God’s restoration of all things in verse two, this guy’s described as a man lame from birth.
We read in chapter four that he is actually a man that’s in his forties. , he has no power in his legs whatsoever. He has to be carried to the spot by friends or associates. Then we see him walking, jumping, praising God. This man with a broken body turns into Tigger. He’s now out dancing with the stars in the midst of the temple.
And this visual is one where God has purposely intentionally chosen this type of miracle for a unique messaging to us because every person that was in the temple that day, when they saw this guy leaping jumping, praising God with joy would have thought of an old Testament passage. It’s Isaiah chapter 30, 35.
It is a description of what the Messiah will do one day in the future. When all is changed. It’s here. Here’s here’s the passage, Isaiah 35 36. Then the eyes of the blind shall be open in the ears of the deaf unstop. Then shall the layman leap like a deer and the tongue of the mute sing for joy. It’s interesting in verse 21 in, in, I can’t, I think it is 17 or 21.
I’ve forgotten later in the passage and the next subject, next passage we’ll look at it describes Jesus. Jesus. It says whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all things he’s pointing to this, he’s saying, Jesus, the one who has done this, the one who fulfilled Isaiah 35 and the fact that the lame will lead for joy and will jump around.
He says that will be true of all. One day, there will be the REI, the, the, the resolving of all issues. All things will be cared for healed in that day. And Peter sermon is pointing it’s Jesus. I’m talking about the one who is there waiting to restore all things to their, their appropriate place. This man’s healing was a visual reminder.
That Christ was the one who would be the one that would restore all things to life. As it ought to be. You see, miracles are never just a naked display of power, neither Jesus or his disciples do miracles just to wow. People. You don’t see Jesus or his disciples gather a crowd of people around and saying, what’s your name?
Amus Amus watch. And you see Jesus, then take a bunch of clouds and he pulls this one over and this one over and, and all of a sudden you see the sky spelling. AMO. Wow. You don’t see Jesus or the disciples. All of us saying watch and they start levitating. you don’t see Jesus and the disciples doing a Yoda, you know, lifting the, the spaceship out of the mud and Meer of the swamp, just to sort of, wow.
You, you don’t see him saying, watch me, watch through, watch me look through walls, go, go back there, hold up fingers. I’ll tell you how many there are. Why? Because his purpose of miracles isn’t to wow. Anybody his purpose in miracles has with it. There, there is a, a, a, a, a, a, a state, when you look and say, wow, this is someone, but there is always a deeper meaning to miracles than just stunning people.
There is always pointing to the reality that miracles are always alleviating suffering or human trouble of some kind. Why? Because miracles are pointing to a day when all will be restored, Jesus will store all things. He will bring life as to, as it ought to be. You see, God did not invent blindness or lameness or suffering.
They all result of a fallen world, poverty and justice sickness and death de Jesus. God did not invent a world with these things. They have the result of, of sin and, and rebellion and a, and a, a world that is under the curse of such things.
Some people say miracles are. Suspension of the natural order. They’re not miracles are a restoration of the natural order. Now I want you to think about that for a minute. It’s not going against the natural order. This is the, is, is, is the aberration of the natural order sickness, brokenness, anger, hatred, genocide.
What will be the rec rec restoration of the natural order is when a blind person is ultimately healed. When a deaf person ultimately heals when a lame person runs and jumps, the natural order is word Jesus and his apostles are only the natural are the only natural things in a world that is unnatural demonized.
And wounded. The picture here is that suffering is unnatural in the design of God. It is the result of a world that has turned away from the, the design of God. Life is not as it ought to be. We all feel that we all sense things shouldn’t be this way,
but this guy’s healing is a visual reminder. I believe intentionally chosen by God at this moment that Peter could direct the attention of the people and say, this guy, who’s now jumping around like a Pogo stick with joy in the temple is a reminder that Jesus is the one who will restore all life to the way it ought to be
him writer, Isaac Watts, and his famous hymn. Oh, for a thousand tongues picked up on this when he said this. Hear Hemi, death, his praise, you dumb, your loosen tongues employ you blind, behold, your savior, come and leap. You lame for joy. God’s healing of the lame man points to something beyond this guy himself.
It points to a day when all believers will be leaping and praising for joy in the midst of a world that is as God designed it to be not as sin caused it to be
this miracle points to Jesus as the restore of all things. One day, the third thing it points to is God’s Providence. Yeah. If you notice verse two and three, it talks about this man, and it says his friends whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple that is called the beautiful gate to ask ALS of those, entering the temple, seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple.
He asked to receive ALS, I wanna just show you, um, thanks to Tom Laro. I got this really cool laser that I haven’t used very much. Um, but there’s a, there’s a visual coming up. We can bring this up. Okay. If you look at this, this is the temple itself, right? Right. Now we are standing, looking down from the Mount of olives.
Okay. We’re on the Eastern side. Back here is all the city of, of, uh, Jerusalem. And this is the, what is known this big area on either side is what is known as the court of the Gentiles. Thousands of people would be in there on a feast day. This is where Jesus drove out the money changers because by turning it into Aden of Roberts, it actually was making the only place that Genta could go to worship God.
Um, uh, a sacrilege, it just became a, a, a marketplace of business. This is the main temple. And this area here is what is called the court of the women they could go in and the next, or let’s bring up the next slide. This is a close up. Here’s the court of the women. There is an area there around the, the temple itself is that big, high part.
Um, men could go in there and, and offer their sacrifices, offer incense on the pieces that were out in the, um, outer court. But as you zero in, when we talk about the, the temple gate that is called beautiful gate, it’ll give you guys some time. Uh, the beautiful gate. It is either this gate, or it is this gate.
and there’s there’s debate about which one it was, but the reason I’m putting all this up there is either one of those gates is in an incredibly prominent place, right? I mean, anybody that’s going in and all, and you offered all your sacrifices in the interior gate. So this was a, a, a place where people would come and pray on the, the time where we are reading about it says it was the ninth hour, which meant three o’clock in the afternoon.
There were two times of prayer every day when people gathered for prayer. There were also the times, the two times a day when people gathered to offer the burnt offerings, which would’ve been just behind this gate. And just before you went into the holy place and the altar of the burnt altar would be there.
So in other words, he’s at a place. And at a time when everybody’s surging in to be associated, when the, the burn offering is being offered, it was also a time when there was public prayer and Peter and John have gone there to be a part of the public prayer time. This guy’s friends bring him and were told that he’s brought every day.
The reason he was brought at that time is that’s gonna, and every that’s when everybody’s there and that’s when everybody’s going into worship. And when people are most generous is when they’re going into worship. Because if we talk crasly, it’s just, this is a good time to be a generous person, if I’m going in to meet with God.
And so it was a great time. Now, the striking reality of this is everybody knows this guy, everybody, we read that later, the, the religious leaders, when he’s standing there in the presence of John Peter and the religious leaders, nobody brings up the accusation. How do we know you were even lame. Because he’d been there every day.
They all knew him. We’re told in acts chapter three, verse 10, chapter three. Yeah, verse 10. It says the people were astonished because they knew this guy. He was a fixture. And apparently there weren’t a lot of people that were at the temple at this time. This was a man who is clearly no. Now I’m saying all this for this reason, Peter and John, we are told habitually are coming to the temple.
The people, the, the, the followers of Christ are gathering, um, in an area called Solomon’s porch, which is, I’ll show you next time where that is, uh, where they gathered. But they’re there in the temple almost every day. This guy’s there every day. They know this guy they’ve seen this guy, but it wasn’t until today.
They heal him. And it isn’t only that this is the first time he notices Peter and Johnny does. He calls out. He calls out to them. You see every lame person in Jerusalem, wasn’t healed by the apostles. Every dead person wasn’t raised from the morgue by the disciples. Although Peter did raise someone from the dead, Paul will as well.
They did it when God’s spirit came upon them and prompted them to do that. Peter in this moment is absolutely positive. What’s gonna happen. We know that because if you read the text, what happens? It says he reached down and he gave his hand to the man and he raised him. Well, if you are not 100% positive, this is gonna work.
And the word raised, I actually looked it up. The word raised actually means to lift. It talks about lifting sheep out of a pen. He’s lifting him. And as he’s lifting him, he’s confident that God is going to enable his legs to take the weight. Otherwise he’s lifting up a dead weight and the man’s gonna fall, but he lifts him.
And then the man, all of a sudden it says his, his feed and his ankles and his legs are strengthened. And he starts doing his ticker thing all over the temple. Peter knew at this moment that this was a God appointed moment for this particular miracle.
He reaches out his hand. He knew it was God’s moment. It was God’s appointed time. This miracle happens pointing to the fact that God sovereignly has these moments when he is going to make his glory known. There’s a fourth thing I want to, I want to go there. I’m gonna wrap all this up. There’s a fourth thing we find that is pointed to here.
This points to God’s priorities, Peter, in verse six, when he heals this guy says, you know, and the guy is hoping they’ll give him some money. He says, I don’t have any money. You know, the way we are working as Christians right now, everybody’s pooling the money. We didn’t have much. Anyway, I’ve been traveling on the road for three years.
I, I, I’m really not making a lot of money fishing and I have money. So, but I got something else. What I have I’ll give. And that’s when he tells the guy to rise and God uses Peter’s faith and the power of Christ to raise him. What I have. I give serving others with what you’re given is the principle here of God’s priority.
Peter does not have this money. He does give him this, but here’s the striking thing. The last time we heard from Peter was in chapter two. He was doing a sermon. There was a heady moment for Peter preaches, the first sermon of the new Testament and this amazing response of the crowd by the movement of the spirit is that 3000 people get saved in response to Peter’s message.
That’s the last time we Peter in the crowd doing the, the public thing, preaching his amazing message. The stadium is, is, is, is going crazy with people coming forward. The next event we see in Peter’s life is right here. It is a reminder that you are to lose sight of the individual, Peter and John come to this.
And as they come with God’s priorities in Jesus kingdom, those who reach the many care about reaching the one. We’re told in Micah chapter six, verse six and eight God’s priorities for his people with what shall I come before the Lord and bow myself before God on high, shall I come before him with burn offerings and with calves a year old, he is told you old, man, what is good?
And what does the Lord require of you, but to do justice and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God
to love kindness. I really landed on that phrase this week, as I was preparing for this message, how like God Marin and I read every night before we go to sleep. We’re reading this week, we’re reading through Exodus and we came to the passage, Exodus 20, where the. Commandments are given by God to Moses.
And it says that that, and, and, and to that point, God had been speaking to the people and it says that there were thunderings and lightnings and, and, and it says the mountain shook and the people were shook and they, they basically say to Moses, you know, what, how about you talk to us? And not God anymore, they were terrorized.
And Moses makes this re remarkable statement. He said, God does not want you to fear, but is rather doing these things that you will fear him. It’s a remarkable thing. He’s gonna replace fear by fear, but the idea is he’s, this is what he’s saying. I I’ll read the exact phrase.
Do not fear for God has come to test you. That the fear of him may be before you, he says, you know, you’re leaving here and you’re going into the promised land and you’re gonna face all kinds of, of adversaries and dangers. And I’m going to show you my greatness in order that you won’t be afraid in order that you won’t be overwhelmed with the adversities and the problems and the dangers and the conflicts.
In other words, why does God show his, his majestic power? Is it just the wow them? No. Mike ache after six verse eight says it this way. He delights to show mercy he’s mercy, the Israelites by showing them his bigness. It’s not just, God wants him scared of him. He’s I want you to know I’m big enough to protect you.
I’m big enough to watch out for you. I’m big enough to lead you. I’m big enough to face with the you, anything that comes your way. It’s the kindness of God. The, the foundational reality of God towards humans is kindness, but sometimes the kindest thing he can do is just remind us he’s big and he’s holy and metic, but it’s always in the context of his delight to show mercy.
God is drawn to the humble, the broken, the impoverished and the spirit that we see in Peter here. What I have I give is the spirit we find in God. The reality is though serving others is at times at cost to yourself, doing miracles sounds like petty stuff, right? I mean, who wouldn’t want to do the miracles?
The disciples did, who wouldn’t want to be able to, to touch a guy’s hand and raise him up and watch ’em jumping all around with joy and be a part of that. But it cost to be a miracle worker cost. Jesus. Would’ve been a lot safer to finish his career as a carpenter in Nazareth carpenters in Nazareth, didn’t end up on the cross, the disciples.
Because of doing a miracle of showing kindness to this man at the prompting of the spirit are now opening the door in chapter three to the enemy. It’s all of a sudden put a big target on the back. They’ve got a bullseye on them. serving others, which is the spirit. I think that is manifested here. As we talk about the priorities of God, also associates, doing life as God did.
And Jesus did to give what you have been given is not always safe. Sociologists in historian, Rodney stark presents a powerful argument that one of the principle reasons Christianity grew while Roman paganism waned. was the mercy. Christians displayed toward people who suffered in the second and third century, beginning around one 60 ad.
There were two giant urban plagues that took place in, in the urban centers of the Roman empire. The first was known to have taken one third of the population’s life. Most people think it was probably a smallpox in the ravaging of people’s lives. What people would regularly do would be to take members of their family, uh, that were dying.
And they would put ’em outside the city to just die because they were so terrorized to keep them in the house. One of the early church fathers wrote this statement. as the, uh, populous in Rome was fleeing cities where the small blocks of a came most Christians in the plagues showed unbounded love and loyalty, never sparing themselves.
And thinking only of others, headless of danger, they took charge of the sick tending of their every need in ministering to them in Christ. They departed from their lives, extremely happy for, they were infected by their neighbors and cheerfully accepted their pains. So many in nursing and caring, others transferred their deaths to themselves and died in their stead.
Who does that remind you of the very character of Christ was manifested in the early church, what they had, they gave. the true poly for Christianity is not that we get it. Right’s not that we line up ultimately in the moral positions. I, although I believe in those and the poly, the argument for Christianity is the same as it has always been.
We love kindness. We reach out to the suffering. What we have, we give at personal cost. There is a spirit of benevolence and generosity that marks the spirit of God. The people that are marked by the spirit of God. I don’t mean just financially. I’m talking about our time. Our abilities are, are resources.
This is the first miracle, and it is instructive about all miracles. I want to close with this. It is instructive. To you wherever you are, because it points first of all, to his power to rescue and change your life, that his power is available to impact your life. When you simply acknowledge the brokenness and the need, it points to his fear.
Future reconciling of all things, life will be as it ought to be to what your life and future can one day be. If you embrace Jesus as savior and Lord of your life, it points to his Providence, your here today, or watching online today by divine appointment. And you say, no, I’m not. I’m here to make my girlfriend happy.
So she’ll go out to lunch with me.
Honestly, there’s something a lot bigger at play in you being here today. It points to his priority. Jesus also gives what he has and what he has is life for forgiveness, transforming grace to you. If you own your brokenness, if you cry out to him for life and salvation and forgiveness, this miracle of all, as all of his miracles point to Jesus, the kind one, the one who gives what he has, who offers what he has to you.
And to me, wherever we are, maybe you are here and God purposely sovereignly has brought you to this room this morning to say, This message is for you. You are that lame, man. You say I don’t, I’m not a LA no, no. There’s brokenness in. You there’s need in you. Jesus has come to provide transforming grace forgiveness and this miracle as all miracles points to his priority.
the one who delights to show mercy. Let’s pray together. Lord,
you know, the heart of every person in this room,
you know, it better than they know themselves, know their knee, you know, their pain and God, my prayer this morning is that we might go where this passage is intended to take us to point us to Christ. Lord make yourself known. I pray that you would draw hearts to want to yield and bow the knee to Jesus Christ as Lord.
The one who is the healer, the one who does bring mercy and grace. I also pray father are that there would be hope in this passage that some are dealing with deep and long LIC. God, we thank you that this in this unnatural Arant world, this is not the end of the story, that there is a place where everything is restored to the way life ought to be the way you’ve designed it to be God, how we want to see everyone embrace that life that they might experience life as it ought to be one day.
so Lord moving our hearts and our lives. May we look to Christ? May we be drawn to him this morning? I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. Amen. Now go in peace to love and serve and enjoy the Lord. Amen.