The Beautiful Gate or Eastern Gate where the lame beggar sat was the largest gate to the temple and the most beautiful. In Hebrew, the name of the gate means “Gate of Mercy.” It took 20 men to move the gate. The gate faces the Mount of Olives across the Kidron Valley. It was sealed shut, and a cemetery was placed before its entrance to render anyone who walked through the cemetery unclean. Jewish tradition says that the Messiah will come through the Eastern Gate when He comes to reign. Ezekiel writes of the glory of God entering the temple through the Eastern Gate.
Look at him! He’s walking. He’s jumping. He’s prancing around and praising God. Wait … he’s going into the temple with those men. He can’t do that; he’s unclean. Hasn’t he been lame since birth? I’ve seen him begging every day for decades. What happened?
Peter and John focused on prayer as they approached the temple. There sat the lame beggar … same spot every day.
This afternoon was different.
Peter and John stopped and stared at him.
Look at us.
Their eyes locked.
“I do not possess silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you: In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene–walk!” And seizing him by the right hand, he raised him up; and immediately his feet and his ankles were strengthened. Acts 3:6-7
Jesus had probably passed by the beggar many times as He entered the temple. Undoubtedly, Peter and John had passed by this man. The man asked for money, not healing.
He received what he asked for. Except today.
Sometimes, we ask for too little.
The Power of Deep Listening
Perhaps this day was different because Peter was meditating on what God had done in the previous days. The Holy Spirit had filled those in the Upper Room with the power to speak of God’s mighty deeds in the languages of those from other countries who had come to Jerusalem to celebrate Pentecost.
Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:38
About 3,000 believed and were baptized that day.
Were Peter and John remembering that moment as they walked to the temple?
It was time for prayer, time for doing God’s work, time for prayer.
Peter and John stopped and listened to the Holy Spirit. They gazed deeply into the eyes of the beggar, and understood God’s work for that moment.
Sometimes, we need to stop, listen deeply to the Holy Spirit, and ask,
“What is the good You want me to do this moment?”
The Power of Radical Action
That whisper from the Holy Spirit telling us the action to take usually asks us to take radical action – action we might not reasonably take in our own power. Otherwise, we would not need the leading and power of the Holy Spirit.
You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth. Acts 1:8
Not only did Peter tell the man to walk in the name of Jesus, but he also grabbed him by the right hand and raised him up.
Peter obeyed the Holy Spirit’s prompting. He told the beggar to do the impossible and then lifted him up. The beggar’s life was transformed.
Sometimes, the Holy Spirit prompts us to do the impossible,
so that we operate in His power.
The Power of Timing
Peter and John were on their way to pray … to do good.
But they recognized a divine appointment and delayed the good they intended to do to accomplish the good that God intended to perform.
Jesus had undoubtedly passed the beggar as He went into the temple. The lame man was not healed.
Peter and John brushed by the beggar, perhaps for years, as they entered the temple. He received what he asked for, money.
This time was different. This time, he was healed.
Many people saw the healing and marveled.
- Peter listened to the wonder of the people and asked, “Men of Israel, why are you amazed?”
- He acknowledged their God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
- He identified with the people by stating that God is the God of our fathers.
- Peter presented the Good News about Jesus to them.
About 5,000 men believed that day.
Like the man born blind from birth, the lame man’s time to give glory to God was this day.
There is power in God’s good works and God’s timing.
Almighty God and Father, You have created the heavens and the earth and all that is in them. There is nothing too hard for You to accomplish. As we go about our daily lives trying to do good, help us to listen to the Holy Spirit’s promptings. Make us sensitive to His leading. Stop us in our busyness. Cause us to pause and understand the true need of our fellow brothers and sisters. Empower us to take the action that You want us to take, even if it seems radical to us. Help us to be like Joshua, to be strong and very courageous as You lead us. We want to transform lives for You. Help us to walk in the power of the Holy Spirit. Thank You Father. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
Please share a time that you listened to the Holy Spirit’s prompting and acted in the Comment Section below. What was the result?
Related post: Are you expecting healing from God?