CALLED AND EQUIPPED
Lord, use us as You please.
Read ACTS 3:1–10
Peter Heals a Lame Beggar
3 One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon. 2 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. 3 When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. 4 Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!” 5 So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them.
6 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.” 7 Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. 8 He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. 9 When all the people saw him walking and praising God, 10 they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
‘Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it’ (1 Cor 12:27).
This passage really demonstrates God’s transforming power. First, we read of the healing of a paralyzed man. It is made clear that his condition is something he’d had from birth, so no one could argue that it was a short-lived problem from which he’d simply recovered naturally. The complete nature of his healing is also emphasized. He does not just manage a few unsteady steps but is leaping about the place! God’s power is surely at work!
There is another transformation on view here too: Peter’s! Gone is the timid disciple who denied Christ to save his own skin, someone who was often slow to understand Jesus’ teaching and even challenged the Lord about the inevitability of His death. Now Peter is shown powerfully and successfully continuing the Lord’s work. Indeed, he emphasizes that this miracle is not performed through his own strength but done in ‘the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth’ (6): in other words, through Christ’s power and with His authority. Luke wants us to understand that Peter is continuing to do the things Jesus did, which included making the ‘lame walk’ (See Luke 7:22).
We, too, are called to continue Jesus’ work and be his representatives on earth. Do we know what our role is in this? Sometimes people assume that only full-time Christian work is a calling and can fail to pray about how Christ wants them to continue His work through their secular jobs. Perhaps we do know what we are called to do but feel daunted by the task and inadequate for it. However, God does not give us the responsibility without providing the resources for it. The same power that has transformed Peter and has healed the paralyzed man is available to us too: we are not expected to continue Christ’s work without Christ’s help.
In what ways do you need the Lord’s help to fulfill your calling? Ask for His Holy Spirit to equip you with what you need.
Lord, as your representatives here on earth, we need empowerment from above. Equip us to fulfill our calling.