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Proclaiming Jesus As Lord

Acts 3:1-6
One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer – at three in the afternoon. 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. When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, 'Look at us!' 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.' (NIVUK)

The narrative in these verses speaks for itself. After Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit was poured out on the apostles and then on each believer who repented and trusted Jesus, the church was bold to speak about Jesus. In addition to smaller groups meeting in homes, many believers met together for prayers (three times a day – 9am, 12 noon and 3pm) in the temple.

Professional beggars were part of city life. These people with various disabilities attracted sympathy from religious by-passers who gave them money. So, instead of being a financial liability to the family, the disabled person provided an income. The best place to beg in Jerusalem was at the entrance to the Temple. So this beggar was carried out to his place before prayers every day. He had no expectation of ever being able to walk. He did not ask for a miracle; he simply sat and begged … it was his job.

Peter and John came along and heard the same appeal every day. But on this occasion they called the beggar to stop looking at the ground as he called out for money. They wanted his full attention. They were filled with the Holy Spirit prompting them to command the lame man to walk. As we shall see from Acts 3:11-4:31, this was not to promote the apostles, or the Holy Spirit's power, or establish a healing ministry. It was all about declaring that Jesus is Lord, so that people would repent and be saved (Acts 4:12).

In the Name of Jesus many wonderful things occur. But where is the focus? On the healed person, the believer who is involved, or on Jesus who is the Lord? Today, too often the testimony is about what was needed, who prayed and what was obtained – as though the Name of Jesus is a free store voucher with the purpose of satisfying human need. The Bible has a very different focus. It is always concerned with the honour of Jesus, and making His authority known so that sinners repent, put their trust in Jesus and obey Him as their King. When He invests in your life it is because He wants His kingdom to come: not yours. That makes you His servant, rather than trying to make Him serve you.

My Lord and my God. Thank You that Jesus has the Name above all names, and one day everybody will bow to Him. Forgive me for failing to honour Him by making my desires greater than His glory. Please help me to be thankful for all You give me by Your grace and commit myself to serve You as You command, so that Your kingdom will come. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams