“Silver and Gold have I none
But such as I have give I thee
In the Name of Jesus Christ
Of Nazareth: rise up and walk!”
He went walking and leaping and praising God,
walking and leaping and praising God.
“In the name of Jesus Christ
of Nazareth, rise up and walk.”
This is a song that I learned when I was a child. The song relates the basics of the story from Acts 3:1-10 where Peter and John go to the temple just after Pentecost (about 50 days since the Resurrection), and at the gate called Beautiful they heal a man who couldn’t walk. It’s an amazing story that sets the foundation for the Apostles’ early ministry and their confrontation with the same men who condemned Christ to death.
The verse that I want to key in on is Acts 3:3
“And a man who had been lame from his mother’s womb was being carried along, whom they used to set down every day at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, in order to beg alms of those who were entering the temple.”
What makes this story different from any other New Testament story where someone gets healed? I’ll tell you. This man had been lame from birth. He was over forty years old, according to Acts 4:22. Verse 3 says that it was his routine to sit in the temple and beg. We can infer from this that he had probably been doing that for some time, probably decades.
Why does this matter, you ask? Because that means this lame man was almost certainly begging at the temple in Jerusalem all throughout the ministry of Jesus. It is even possible, given his age, that he was begging at the temple when Jesus went there as a twelve year old (the beggar would have been at least 19 years old at that point).
What this means, is that Jesus Christ, the compassionate, merciful, all-knowing Son of God, and God the Son, walked past this man not once, not twice, but at least four times that we know of. He probably went to the temple more than the four recorded times, since He says in Matthew 26:55 that he sat in the temple teaching “every day.” So probably more than four.
What lesson can we learn from this? You may be hurting. You may be in trouble. You may be in pain or great sorrow. God knows your pain. God cares for you. He is going to help you at the best possible time for you, and to bring the highest amount of glory to Him.
Jesus walked by this man, knowing his condition, knowing that He could heal the man in an instant, and yet He did not. Because He knows what is best, and He knew that Peter and John would be blessed to heal this man two months after His ascension.
When I have pain, when I have a need, I can trust that God is going to the right thing at the right time for all concerned. I have friends who have problems. One of my friends is a former missionary who is younger than me. He is a former missionary because he had a carbon monoxide leak in his house, and he developed a severe reaction to it, which has rendered him disabled. He continues to trust God. We have prayed and prayed for him to be delivered from his disability, but to no avail. Why has God not healed him? We don’t know. It seems to us, in our imperfect human logic, that God would be better served if this man were to be healed and continue his work of preaching the Gospel. We don’t know why God has answered our prayers with, “No.”
What we do know, is that whether God heals him or not, we can continue to trust in His perfect will.