Proclaiming Jesus As Lord
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.
© Dr Paul Adams