A CERTAIN MAN LAME
Acts 2:46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, 47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved. 3:1 Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour. 2 And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple; 3 Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms. 4 And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us. 5 And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them. 6 Then Peter said, 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. 7 And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. 8 And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God. 9 And all the people saw him walking and praising God: 10 And they knew that it was he which sat for alms at the Beautiful gate of the temple: and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him.
God cannot be fully comprehended! – John 21:25 And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen. But there is that which is revealed of him which is given for us to know life through him! John 20:31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.
In Acts 2:40 we read: And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. And although there were “many other words” spoken on Pentecost that were not preserved for us, there was that one message from heaven recorded for us on that day! Also in Acts 2:43 we find: And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. So there were “many wonders and signs” done then, but we have recorded for us just one miracle of healing at that time. And it was upon a certain lame man! And as in our quest to know God, let us not sinfully wonder about those things not recorded, but let us be faithful in seeking His glorious face in that which we are provided!
There is in this miracle a clear manifestation of God’s absolute sovereignty! For neither the apostles, nor the lame man, nor his caregivers expected anything more than that which had been done in providential dealings heretofore. For the apostles would give that which they did not have. And the lame man would receive that for which he did not ask! And the caregivers would not have to carry him back home again that day as they expected, or any day thereafter!
The apostle were observing a newly ‘christianized’ religious tradition. We see in Acts 2:46 (listed above) that they were continuing daily … in the temple. For even though the Lord Christ has pronounced judgment on this building, and all it stood for, he had yet to sent Titus, the Roman General to destroy it. And the lame man was being laid daily at this same gate of that temple. And we know that all these “daily” routines by both the apostles and the lame man were orchestrated by the Sovereign Lord of glory! For he alone has determined the bounds of our habitation and the times before appointed for us to come to know him! (See Acts 17:26-28). And he had established these daily routines for the adding unto the church daily, as we see in Acts 2:47!
And the Lord can take a crooked stick and draw a straight line! He was still using, for his own glory, this condemned temple. Even when He, as the great High Priest (Heb. 8:1, 9:11), healed the ten lepers, it is recorded in Luke 17:14 that he command them to, “Go show yourselves to the priests.” And only one among them turned around to properly do so! The rest went unthankfully on back to the religious system. He even allows some of “his people” to temporarily reside in the influence of the Harlot system until he calls them out! Rev. 18:4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. I trust that he shall, one day soon, deliver us from all our views of selective sovereignty, and aid us in bowing to the absolute and complete sovereignty of The Sovereign and Holy God!
The apostles intended only to go into the temple at the hour of prayer. The lame man only sat for alms (v.10), and his caregivers had done their duty for that part of the day. None but the Holy Spirit had any knowledge at all of just how differently that day was to turn out! Saul was just out searching for his dad’s mules when he ran into the prophet Samuel. (1 Sam. 9). And the widow of Zarephath was just our picking up sticks for enough fire to cook the last meal for herself and her son when she encountered Elijah. (1 Kings 17). The true believers learn not to judge things by physical appearances. They are those who look for that which is not seen, for that is how they were first brought into the kingdom!
John 3:8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. Romans 9:16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. For no sinner ever wanted a new heart until he already had one! And the sinner is dead in trespasses and sins! (Eph. 2:1). That is why the Lord speaks of regeneration as an instantaneous resurrection! John 5:25 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. 26 For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;
And like this lame man, we all were unable to walk in the Spirit as a result of our physical birth! All sinners go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies. (Psa. 58:3). We all, like him, were carried about daily by human emotions, seeking to use religion for whatever we could gain from it. He had probably greatly benefitted financially from the seventeen different nationalities of devout men gathered together at Pentecost. And we like him had greatly benefitted from the mercies and long sufferings of God. For many things we did ask amiss, that (we) may consume it upon (our) lusts. (Jas. 4:3). And not knowing of the glories of the spiritual life in Christ, we only sought to make ourselves comfortable in the life of a cripple sinner, with no thought of attaining the privilege of walking with God!
Another evidence that this was totally brought forth by God alone is the contrast of this event with Peter in Jerusalem from that of Paul in Lystra. Here is that account: Acts 14:8 And there sat a certain man at Lystra, impotent in his feet, being a cripple from his mother’s womb, who never had walked: 9 The same heard Paul speak: who stedfastly beholding him, and perceiving that he had faith to be healed, 10 Said with a loud voice, Stand upright on thy feet. And he leaped and walked.
In this situation, Paul, by the Spirit, saw in the man’s eyes the faith to be healed. (Paul’s gift as an Apostle even inspired him to state; Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God. 1 Thess. 1:4. That had to be a particular revelation to him by the Spirit, for none knows of another’s election except the One who did the electing!) But Peter didn’t see anything in our lame man! He, with John, only had their eyes fastened on him by the Spirit in order to heal him! That was the first that any person involved in this healing knew anything of God’s intent!
And Paul never touched the cripple of Lystra! He simply commanded the man to exercise that faith which Paul perceived the Lord had given him. But the healing of our lame man was never dependent upon anything of the cripple man at all! For Peter, in giving such as he had, jerked the man up into the air and before he came down, the Lord had made his feet and ankles strong!
I understand that it was just as much the Sovereign Lord who healed Lystra’s impotent man as he did Jerusalem’s lame man! But the point is that Paul perceived before the healing something in the man that prompted him to command him to Stand upright! While the instantaneous miracle of Jerusalem’s lame seemingly explodes that into existence which none ever perceived could exist before it happened. Romans 4:17 (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were. Hebrews 11:3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
Just as Lazarus came forth from the tomb without the ability to hear the command, so this man was walking before he perceived that he could! For within the command is the enabling ability! The power is in the Word! Lazarus come forth! was such an effectual voice, that it provided the dead both the ability to hear as well as to obediently respond! We are all saved by faith! (Ephes. 2:8). But faith only and always comes by hearing! And that effectual hearing only comes by the Person of the Word! (Rom. 10:17).
Jesus Christ is, God said! And God said, Let there be light: and there was light! And that word was but introducing the Eternal Son of God into the realm of the created order! For the sun, moon and stars didn’t exist until the fourth day of creation! So who was that Illumination the first three days of creation? Our Lord gave us the answer! John 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. He is both the light of the world – the physical, created order, and he is the light of life – the spiritual, regenerated order!
Therefore in Paul’s miracle, Christ’s faith shown first within the man’s soul to prompt Paul to proceed with the cure! But in Peter’s miracle the Light of life shown forth within Peter to have faith in order to bring strength to one who had never walked a day in his 40 year life.
How glorious is our Holy Lord is this miracle. For the man only asked an alms! But he then received both physical and spiritual health! He who had never walked one single step before men was now walking acceptably before God! Although he was a Jew, he was only now a true son of Abraham! Genesis 17:1 And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.
And is that not how the Lord has proven himself to also be in our relationship with Him? Before our regeneration we only wanted to be a comfortable sinner, not asking that we become enabled to stand upright before God. We, like this crippled sinner only asked for creature comforts! We had no concept of the glories of God provided in the atoning blood of his glorious Son! 1 Corin. 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
But God, who is rich in mercy, gave us and this man far more than we ever imagined, or asked for! Ephesians 3:20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, 21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.
And now he is required to do that which he has never done before. He is now going to have to walk in the Spirit and not in the flesh! Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
And it seems that his first night as one who now could walk upright was spent in jail with those who were the instruments of his newly acquired physical and spiritual walk! In Acts 4:2 we read that the Jews laid hands on THEM, and out THEM in hold. And when they were brought out for questioning the next day, we read in verse 14 that the Jews beheld the man which was healed STANDING with them! In one day he went from leaping into the temple to standing with the apostles in jail for setting forth the precious name of Jesus the Lord! Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
And that is the very thing religionists hate! None among them wish the name of the Lord Jesus proclaimed as presently reigning Lord! Acts 4:17 But that it spread no further among the people, let us straitly threaten them, that they speak henceforth to no man in this name. But the Father would have His Son’s name to be exalted above every name!
Pastor Gene Breed