Saturday Morning Promises – Great Stories
Now Peter and John went up together to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms from those who entered the temple; who, seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked for alms. And fixing his eyes on him, with John, Peter said, “Look at us.” So he gave them his attention, expecting to receive something from them. Then Peter said, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.” And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. So he, leaping up, stood and walked and entered the temple with them–walking, leaping, and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God. Then they knew that it was he who sat begging alms at the Beautiful Gate of the temple; and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him. (Acts 3:1-10)
Alms That Became Legs
It was a day as every day in his life. He knew nothing else. As a child he was carried everywhere. He knew he was different. Everyone else could walk but he could not. Because of his condition the family suffered. He was unable to work. No one could spend all day caring for him so they began to take him to the Temple among the beggars. What a humiliating life. Unable to move he sat as a mendicant stretching out his hand for others to put a few coins in. He would never know the joys of life as so many others.
As the sunlight sprinkled through the pillars of the Temple near a gate called Beautiful two figures caught his eye. Just like he had done countless times before he put forth his hand mumbling words of pity. The two men stopped and as their shadows cast upon the man’s face they asked of him to look at them. Anxiously he gave them his attention as few men would take the time to give attention to a poor beggar. Thousands walked by him every day and if any gift was given it would have been with little regard but a toss of a coin or two. These two men had stopped. They were talking with him. He was told to look at them. How pleasant their eyes looked. There was something different about these men the beggar seldom witnessed. It seemed the eyes of these men looked deep into his soul with a feeling of love and compassion. As he intently looked into the eyes of Peter and John he felt like a man who was loved by another human being.
At first the words rang hallow. He listened as the two men told him they had no silver or gold to give. How disappointed he was. Why did they stop? Are they playing a cruel joke? The mind processes thoughts so quickly his heart immediately fell knowing this day would not reap a bounty of coin. But the men continued speaking saying something about giving him a gift they did have. He heard words he never knew could be said. It was numbing to think these words were being said to him. For the past few years he had heard it being done by a man from Nazareth but he was never able to find Him. It was of no avail as he learned the teacher had been killed as a criminal a few months prior. What did these men want?
Peter took the beggar by the right hand and that is when it happened. He had never known the sensation before but there was life in his legs. Immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. The Holy Spirit through Luke made note of the feet and ankle bones. He was standing. No, he was leaping. What is going on – he is walking. Casting aside his beggar garments with tears streaming down his face he cared nothing for the gold and silver or anything else. Praise God he had received the greatest gift of all time. He was walking, leaping, jumping, running – he was free. He was walking on air. He could walk on water if there was some nearby. Oh my – what a day.
We are beggars. Never forget the joy of the day we learned to walk in Christ. Leap and jump for joy today as we think of the life Jesus Christ gave our dead bodies. Praise God today. This is a great story.
A positive thing: in joy one does not only feel secure, but something goes out from one’s self to the universe, a warm, possessive effluence of love. (John Buchan, Pilgrim’s Way, 1940)