Peter and John went to the Temple one afternoon to take part in the three o’clock prayer service. As they approached the Temple, a man lame from birth was being carried in. Each day he was put beside the Temple gate, the one called the Beautiful Gate, so he could beg from the people going into the Temple. When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for some money. Peter and John looked at him intently, and Peter said, “Look at us!” The lame man looked at them eagerly, expecting some money. 6 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 the Nazarene, get up and walk!” Then Peter took the lame man by the right hand and helped him up. Acts 3:3-7 (NLT)
Which one are you? The lame man or the apostle? It's sort of a trick question. You see on the surface we see the lame man begging and the apostle delivering. But, there is another contrast that I want to look at more closely. The lame man was asking for money. He had done the same thing day in and day out. If he had a really good day, maybe he wouldn't have to come tomorrow because he would have collected enough for two days but probably most days he was getting just enough to get by. Those were his expectations. He was settling.
Along came Peter and John. Peter wants to give him more than just enough. He wants to give him more than he can even imagine. Peter wants to give him Jesus. So Peter says "Get up and walk!" Peter knows there is so much more out there than what this man is asking for. He knows that Jesus has more power to transform his life than this lame man even understands. And he has the faith to make it happen. Peter was prompted by the Holy Spirit to utter those words. And he did! He believed with all of his heart that Jesus would deliver.
As I was thinking about this story I wondered about the different place they were spiritually and why they were there. Peter and John had spent a lot of time with Jesus. They'd seen miraculous things and experienced his love toward people. Their walk with him the last few years had changed them. It had grown their faith. The lame man had not had those experiences. He was never exposed to that saving power.
Then, I wondered, "Where am I?" Maybe I am somewhere in the middle? I know God wants so much more for me than the bare minimum. But I am not Peter, yet. I can only pray that as I continue to walk with Jesus that he will grow my faith and one day I too will be prompted by the Spirit to boldly issue a God command and I'll do it. In the meantime, I can say “What I have I’ll give you." And I will share Jesus.
How about you? Who are you in this story?