Open To All
Lord of all life, You are my guardian and guide. I thank You for new mercies this day.
Read Acts 3:1-10
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“The Lord wants to show us ways of being New Testament congregations through which he can care for people’s needs, pouring his healing Spirit out for the healing of all facets of life” (Lloyd John Ogilvie).
As yet, there is no split with Judaism. The early Christians had not left something: they had entered into something new. They saw themselves not as former Jews but as Jews who were now experiencing the fulfillment of the historic promises. So they still frequented the temple. The fact that this man had been lame from birth accentuates the wonder of what is about to happen. Given that he was taken there every day (2), it is likely that the disciples, and probably Jesus, had seen him before. So why is his healing now, and not then? We cannot know—and this illustrates the mystery of all healing. It lies in God’s hands, not ours, and the timing is his, not ours. The lame man was excluded by his disability from the temple, which therefore failed to meet either his financial or his spiritual needs. Jesus meets both and the man leaps for joy, recalling Isaiah’s prophecy of the coming messianic age (Isa. 35:6). The way to God is open to the poor, the outcast and the marginalized. None are to be excluded from the messianic community, the Church.
Peter’s words, which he will later amplify, emphasize that the healing is accomplished under the authority of Jesus and by his power: that is the force of the “name” (6). This action carries forward the ministry of Jesus. He is no longer present in the flesh but is now present through the Spirit-filled community to continue his mission. Healings still demonstrate the reality of God’s rule (Luke 11:20). The nature and calling of the Church has not changed. We live and witness in the last days, the era of the Spirit, testifying by word and deed to the presence of the kingdom, the reality of God’s rule, and inviting others to come under that rule.
In what ways does your church demonstrate the reality of God’s rule and the presence of the Spirit? Pray that it, and you, might be more effective in these areas.
Lord, be in my mind and heart today, forming me in wisdom and grace. May I point others to You and the reality of Your kingdom and rule.
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