Elkhorn Valley District
Today's Lectionary Text
Acts 3:1-10One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, at three o’clock in the afternoon. And a man lame from birth was being carried in. People would lay him daily at the gate of the temple called the Beautiful Gate so that he could ask for alms from those entering the temple. When he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked them for alms. Peter looked intently at him, 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 or gold, but what I have I give you; in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, stand up and walk.” And he took him by the right hand and raised him up; and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong. Jumping up, he stood and began to walk, and he entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. All the people saw him walking and praising God, and they recognized him as the one who used to sit and ask for alms at the Beautiful Gate of the temple; and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.
Miracles strengthen our faith and happen all the time. Acts 3:1-10 alludes to that. Luke’s narrative portrays the manifestation and works of the Holy Spirit done through Peter and John. These two apostles had caught the fire of the Holy Spirit and were mightily used by God. Jesus had prophesied saying, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." (Acts 1:8) The first manifestation of God’s miracle happened at the Beautiful gate, close to the temple in Jerusalem.
I read this scripture with astonishment and soaked myself in the power of the Holy Spirit. The expectations of the unnamed man at the Beautiful gate were shattered when Peter spoke boldly of a new beginning, new day, and everlasting name of Jesus. “Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, "Look at us!" 5So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them. 6Then Peter said, "Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk." 7Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, instantly the man's feet and ankles became strong” (Acts 3:4-6)
So, the lame man experienced a transformative life instantly on this day. It was a new day of rejoicing, leaping, entering the temple after many decades of sitting at the Beautiful gate. It was a moment of testifying the wonderful works of the Holy Spirit. I assume Peter was surprised by this miracle, yet Jesus had prophesied that they would do mighty works if they believed in Jesus. “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” (John 14:12). Peter and John demonstrated God’s power to the entire Jerusalem city.
The first miracle dumbfounded the worshipers and onlookers. 9When all the people saw him walking and praising God, 10they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called the Beautiful Gate, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him. (Acts 3:9-10)
This then leads me to my childhood testimony. This is an everlasting imprinted miracle in my entire life. I am a miracle child. At age of 2, I lost speech, could not walk, and the torrent of death encompassed me awhile. The word concerning my sickness spread like wildfire within the family. This condition then forced my paternal grandmother to predict a speedy death. She sent one of my uncles with a death projection and wanted me to die at the family estate.
Amazingly, God intervened in my plight. I started talking, stood up, and walked toward the messenger sent. Unbelievably I greeted Uncle Joseph softly and perfectly. (“Mwakadini” in Shona language) which means (“How are you?”) My parents were shocked. They leaped with joy praising God. Power of death was defeated, and new life began. Saints, I was healed! Speech restored and feet strengthened. This was a pivotal moment in my late parents’ life to experience such a powerful miracle.
The healing of the lame man happened speedily at the watch of the temple worshipers. What troubles me most in this scripture is the setting of the lame man, the beautiful gate. Close to the temple, a place of worship yet distanced from the internal activities within the sacred place. Day in and out he received alms and was carried to this setting. His condition was long lived and pathetic. Peter and John became the catalyst of his healing and divine restoration.
It might even resonate with our communities too. We have people who are carried to Beautiful gates with various conditions. People who are lame spiritual, financially, physically, mentally, and socially. Peter demonstrated the power of the Holy Spirit when he said, “In the name of Jesus of Jesus Christ, Walk.” I presume that the unnamed man’s life became a blessing in his community. I also suppose he started a great ministry to the physical challenged and referred them to Peter and John. His healing unveiled all his engrained life potentialities within his destiny. Perhaps he later found a beautiful woman got married and settled. Pursuing better education and lived a life worth calling. Another supposition is that he might have even started a business to the hand capped. Truth told; he became great beneficiary of the Holy Spirit mighty acts.
-Rev. Ever Mudambanuki
United Church of Bennington / Solomon Yoked Parish- Salina District
Prayer for Reflection
O God of miracles, show your mighty acts among your people this season of Pentecost season. Let the Holy Spirit manifest great power and signs and wonders within your church. Amen.
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