Outside the Gate
Awesome God, so far beyond me and yet so close to me in Jesus, I come to be with You now.
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.
“Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give You” (6). Reflect on what you have been given by your Heavenly Father.
Luke has already explained that his first volume records the words and the deeds of Jesus (Acts 1:1,2). He now turns to evidence of Jesus’ continuing acts of mercy through his disciples. This brief story of healing contains two significant issues worthy of reflection: how it happened and where it happened.
First, how did it happen? Peter explains that his actions are carried out in the name of Jesus (6). True, Peter took him by the hand, but the healing power resided not in the apostles but in Jesus. This will become of critical significance in Peter’s defense before the religious leaders in the next section (Acts 4:7,10). It is always important for his disciples to affirm this truth: our compassionate acts of service, our proclamation of the Gospel, our engagement in prayer for healing or miraculous intervention are all dependent on the Lord, in whose name and by whose power we live our lives.
Second, where did it happen? This miracle takes place not in the temple courts but outside the gate (2). In this new era of the Spirit, God is at work in the market place, in the street, in the broken places of the world, and not just in religious institutions. That hardly needs to be said, I know, but some Christians get perilously close to imagining that God can only work in holy places or on sacred ground, that he can only be found in the ordered solemnity of formal religion. It’s not like that in the age of the Spirit. He blows where he wills. There are many “outside the gate” who need to experience the transforming power of the name of Jesus, and you and I are the ones who are called to speak and to act in his name.
Who do you know who is “outside the gate”? Pray that they will experience the power of Christ’s name.
Spirit of God, I pray You will continue to work in me and through me. I want to see where You are working in the world and join You there.
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