For years, his story had been otherwise written. Carried to the Beautiful Gate, he was given the task of begging. Was this something he did to feel less like an invalid, less like a burden, a clawing effort to cling to his independence? Or did his legs ache, his heart hurt, his will wish to curl up in a ball of depression and stay home? Maybe someone propped him at the gate for his own good—or maybe it was for their convenience. Out of the house. Out of the way. Regardless of what he wrestled to get there, he was in the perfect place for his miracle.
It didn’t feel that way. Braced against a wall, he felt useless, always on the outside of the better things of life. More importantly, on the outside of spiritual satisfaction. His greatest expectation lay in other people’s religious experience; he wasn’t permitted one of his own. His best hope was that those attending the temple with their offering would toss some spare change to him. But Christmas and the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus changed all of that, giving the lame man the opportunity to become a participator, not just an onlooker. Hope shifted the day Peter and John passed by.
“Alms. Money. Help.” He begged his usual pitiful request.
“Look upon us,” Peter replied.
Instantly, the man anticipated something. Would it be money? Or maybe teasing he’d endured before? Uncertain, perhaps anxious, He gazed at the two men in front of him. But Peter’s instructions to look meant TO FOCUS, for much is gained by attentiveness. Equally so, much is missed by distraction. Focus enabled the lame man to hear beyond the phrase, “Silver and gold have we none.”
FOCUS caught the BUT and clung to the GIVE.
“BUT such as I have GIVE I thee.”
Peter had faith in God that comes from a full awareness of Him, His presence, His glory, His power, His provision. When Peter extended his hand to the cripple, that faith was transferred. The man’s attention shifted from his need to the God who does the impossible. Peter gave a yank that caused the man to “leap” before standing or walking (Acts 3:7-8). While this visual gives me a chuckle, it was an expression of Peter’s bold confidence. The lame man was either going to walk or be slung onto the ground.
The tug pulled the man from his world into God’s world, connecting him to the Miracle Worker, Who lifted him far higher than his healed legs could enable him to stand. With new legs, the man was given access into the temple of the Lord and a personal testimony that rang with rejoicing.
Christmas miracles do that to us. For Christmas isn’t about a season. It’s about the power, majesty, and nature of God becoming accessible to us. It’s about attaching our faith to the name that has always been powerful, to the God who’s always available, so that we experience the supernatural for ourselves and are emboldened to share the miracle of God’s love, salvation, and healing with others.
Tip/Tidbit: What struggles might have put you in the perfect position for a miracle? What personal testimonies inspire your faith for others? This season let’s let the Gift of God in us bring Christmas to our world.