January 15

Acts 3:6-7 (NLT)

“But Peter said, “I don’t have any silver or gold for you. But I’ll give you what I have. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazarene, get up and walk!” 7 Then Peter took the lame man by the right hand and helped him up. And as he did, the man’s feet and ankles were instantly healed and strengthened.”

It is good for the lame man that Peter and John had neither silver or gold to hand out, for what they did have to offer was of far greater value—healing power through Jesus Christ. Rather than a temporary fix, the man was given a permanent remedy for his physical and spiritual problems.

Acts presents many healing miracles, but did they really happen? We have plenty of evidence to prove that the ancients understood physiology sufficiently enough to recognize a miraculous cure when they saw one. In this case the miracle was directly linked to God’s power through Jesus and to faith that comes through Him (v16).

His feet and ankle bones received strength: Luke, a physician by profession, described what took place. Instantly strength was given to the portions of the body that needed it. Blood supply was increased to the muscle. The brain sent signals to the nerve endings of the ankles and feet. The hardened fluid between the joints was softened, and the atrophied muscles and ligaments regained flexibility. The feet suddenly could bear the man’s weight.

This healing is a demonstration of either the manifestation of the gifts of healings or of the working of miracles (1 Cor. 12:9, 10). It is an example of the church continuing the kind of healing Jesus did (see Mark 2:1–12).

As Peter helped the man to his feet, strength flowed into the hitherto useless feet and ankle bones. Here we are reminded again that in the spiritual life, there is a curious mingling of the divine and the human. Peter helps the man to his feet; then God performs the cure. We must do what we can do; then God will do what we cannot do.

The apostles indicated immediately that they did not represent themselves in what they were about to do. They represented Jesus Christ. Because of His name —who He is—the beggar would receive the miracle of God. The phrase “in the name of Jesus” is not a magical formula used to give some affirmation or guarantee to a prayer. A person’s name represented that person’s authority and influence. The power in the name of Jesus comes from what the Holy Spirit will do because of that name. Note that Peter and John did not lay their hands on the beggar and pray for God to heal him. Rather as apostles with the power of God to perform signs and wonders, they simply told him to rise up and walk.

A witty old preacher said, “The crippled beggar asked for alms and he got legs.”

Life Application

“God does His part, we do ours.” What is it that we (you and I) could do or offer as service to our Lord? Peter’s faith in the “Name that is Above All Names”, caused him to reach out in faith to the crippled. He knew God wanted the man healed, (God’s part) he just needed the courage to do his part and reach out to the dude. When he did, God did his part (healed him). Let’s release our faith in fresh new ways this year and watch God do His part.

Acts 10:38-40 (NLT)

And you know that God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. Then Jesus went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. 39 “And we apostles are witnesses of all he did throughout Judea and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a cross, 40 but God raised him to life on the third day. Then God allowed him to appear, 41 not to all the people but to us who had been chosen by God as witnesses, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.”

The simple statement ‘he went about doing good and healing” v38, is a profound summary of Jesus life, and an ideal to which all Christians would do well to aspire.

The “cross” v39, is referred to in many translations as “a tree”, making a clear connection with the use of the same word (Gk. xylon) in the Septuagint translation of Deut. 21:23, “cursed by God is everyone who is hanged on a tree.” Jesus was put in a position that the OT says is “cursed by God,” thus taking on himself the penalty for sin. See Gal. 3:13.

Life Application

The goodness of Christ was on display here in these verses, a goodness our friends, family, coworkers and neighbors need to hear. Can you think of personal stories you could share with them of how the goodness of Christ touched your life? If so, are you willing to share it? Ask God to give you the courage and strength and even the words to speak, to boldly yet humbly speak about the goodness of Christ to all who will listen.