“And a man lame from birth was being carried in. People would lay him daily at the gate of the temple called the Beautiful Gate so that he could ask for alms from those entering the temple. When he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked them for alms…But Peter said, ‘I have no silver or gold, but what I have I give you; in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, stand up and walk’…Jumping up, he stood and began to walk, and he entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God.” (Acts 1:1-10 NRSV).
We learn as little children to beg for things. From a young age into adulthood we are always contemplating what we can get out of a situation. We view each other as opportunities to enhance ourselves. We are lame and we want to be carried to the gate so that we can hit on the passersby for alms. We have become accustom to our situation. We have given up on seeking any other life.
This lame beggar was satisfied to be carried to the temple gate every day and get what he could get from the temple visitors. He knew that they would feel sorry for him and this was the only way that he knew to get by. He had no hope for a better life. What could he have faith in that would improve his plight? He was not anticipatory in his daily life. His life was the same every day.
This man was lucky that these two good men, apostles Peter and John, happened to come by. Christ Jesus had commissioned these two and the others. Luke tells us, “Then Jesus called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal (Luke 9:1-2 NRSV).” We are beneficiaries and inheritors of this commissioning of the disciples by Jesus. We must overcome our lameness, jump up and walk, and reach out to others.
The gift from God of Christ Jesus is ours. In our lameness we must reach for His hand from our pallets and let Him pull us up on our feet so that we may stand for Him. He will make our feet and ankles strong and before we know it we will be walking and leaping and praising Him and sharing the gospel with the world.
Robert Halsey Pine was born at Newark, Ohio in 1943. He is a graduate of Northeastern University and completed the program of Theological Education by Extension: Education for Ministry, School of Theology, the University of the South.