The tale of the lame man at the gate called Beautiful is a story that promotes hope against hopelessness and faith against sight, even in today’s world. The setting of this man’s testimony, found in the third chapter in the book of Act of the Apostles, is at the entrance to the place of the place of worship for that time period. Now a man who was lame from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. Acts 3v2
The temple aka the House of Yahweh was not well frequented as you might consider a place of worship in the 21st century, other than the priest it was mostly visited by the ‘well to do’ and business people offering sacrifices to God through the priest with the belief that their giving would somehow influence God more to move on their behalf. Yet still we are told that every day this man was brought to sit at this strategic place to beg for his daily provisions.
Although restricted this lame man did not allow his physical limitations to hinder him, there were no taxi, buses or wheelchair to take him around, but yet every day he could be found sitting at the entrance of the temple begging from the rich and famous of that time, a task he achieved through the aid and assistance of others. Ponder a moment if you will, how persistent he must have been to get someone to take him there every day, then to sit in the scorching sun at the mercy of the generosity of another. Yet still he did, why because his days, just like you and I are ordered by God. The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, And He delights in his way. Psalm 37v23 and of course we know God’s word does not go unfulfilled.
Many times we see our own lives from the ‘B’ side only as we view the lives of others from the ‘A’ side. The ‘B’ side of the album is not often played and none of the songs are memorable yet if the ‘B’ side did not exist then neither would the ‘A’ side. God had a plan for this man’s life yet the time of this plan would take some forty years to unfold. The drudgery and disappointment that often shows up along life’s path is not to defeat us but to add emphasis once manifestation of the dream, goal or aspiration is achieve.
As this story unfold a seemingly ordinary day turns into a life changing memorable occasion for three men. Peter and John, two of Jesus disciples, still in grief mode after the temporary death of Jesus are met at the entrance of the temple to a request from the lame man for alms. Seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked to receive alms. Acts 3v3.
The disciples had seen the many miracles performed by Jesus, and in fact Peter had personal experience of miracles when his own mother in law was healed. When Jesus came into Peter’s house, he saw Peter’s mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever. Matt 8v14, and now they were to see manifestation of the ‘Promise of the Father’ for themselves. Oh what a joy! They knew that there was power within them but the ‘how to’ and ‘when to’ they had no script or pattern to work with, all they knew is that power is within them. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you Acts 1v8, and likewise too the lame man knew his job was to ask in order to receive although what he received was not quite what he had in mind. When the Holy Spirit of God is welcomed and allowed free reign in a situation anything can happen, as we continue there is a supernatural exchange between these men and faith meets hope and hope meets manifestation. So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them. Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk. Acts3v5.
God wants that same kind of spiritual expectation from us too, to persevere year after year pursuing goals that are seemingly unachievable relentlessly. Did Peter and John get up that morning saying to themselves we’re going to heal the lame man at the temple gate today? Did the lame man say to himself after forty years today I’m going to walk? I don’t think so, but one thing both of them had was an inner knowing that when they ask they would receive and if they tried they may accomplish something be it great or small.
We have to play the ‘B’ of the album too, how else will we know that the ‘A’ side is better. The lame man didn’t sit in the market to beg, no, he sat strategically where the rich people were passing probably playing on the conscious of the people going into the temple knowing that they wanted something from God and their generosity towards him might curry favour with God.
We don’t have to curry favour with God he already wants the best for us, and by reason of expectation fear gives way to faith and hope turns into happiness for we see as the lame man gets healed he is jumping and leaping around praising God. Taking him by the right hand, Peter helped him up, and at once the man’s feet and ankles were made strong. He sprang to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and leaping and praising God. Acts 3v7&8. Imagine with me, if you will, the joy of all three men, God had healed the lame man after many years and the disciples saw the manifestation of what Jesus had promised them, and if that wasn’t enough it all took place in a public arena at the peak of the day, everyone could see the move of God and no one could deny the truth that healing is the children’s bread, and also the works that Jesus did we too will do.
Peter, doesn’t stop for a minute and while the crowd of people are still in awe and wonder at this miracle he begins to share the good news of Jesus and the hope he has as a believer. A lesson to us, be ready to share at all times the reason for the hope that we have in Christ. He is the author and finisher of all that concerns us and as we give way to fear and let faith arise, you and I will also, in the name of Jesus achieve great things in the earth.