Turning Away From God…
We can’t see the wonders and miracles of God in our everyday life for two very distinct reasons – we don’t believe with all our heart, with all our soul and with all our mind Mark 12:30 NKJV. Second, we live in sin – separated from God because we don’t know who we are in Christ.
When Peter and John visited the temple, with the gate called Beautiful, and the Lord, Jesus Christ, through Peter, healed a man who was lame from birth, the people in the temple were amazed and awe struck.
Why were the people so awe struck and why did God use Peter as the healing hands in this situation?
13 The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified His Servant Jesus, whom you delivered up and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let Him go.
14 But you denied the Holy One and the Just, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you,
15 and killed the Prince of life, whom God raised from the dead, of which we are witnesses.
16 And His name, through faith in His name, has made this man strong, whom you see and know. Yes, the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all. Acts 3 NKJV
They were in awe because they know-not who they are in Christ. The plague of sin, separation from God, has washed over them to such a degree their minds are blown when they see the power of God.
Once again, we find identity being a key factor in healing, hearing and God working through others to show the world how His kingdom works. It seems crucial to our overall relationship with God to know who we are, our identity in Christ. The man laying at the Beautiful gate knew he was God’s child, knew he was to wait for Peter and John and at the appropriate time these messengers from God would be the vessel to heal him in the name of Jesus Christ. If the man, who was once lame, didn’t know and understand this why would he be brought to the same location everyday – day after day after day…? As we go through our day a great many of us encounter homeless people in a variety of locations. Rarely do we see the same person in the same location, asking alms, more than once. They usually move around from day to day, sometimes even during the same day, they move to new locations. Why would this man go to the same location, the Beautiful gate, day after day, year after year – seemingly from birth – if he wasn’t suppose to be there?
What was his response after Jesus Christ healed him and made “his feet and ankle bones received strength“?
So he, leaping up, stood and walked and entered the temple with them—walking, leaping, and praising God. Acts 3:8 NKJV
What!?! “Leaping up…” “walking, leaping and praising God” That’s thankful. The man didn’t simply arise and walk – he leapt to his feet in praise of God.
Either the Gospel is divine inspiration, a road map of how to live and how to act, or it’s nothing more than a historical account of events.