Acts 3:1-11 :
Peter and John were going up into the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. A certain man who was lame from his mother’s womb was being carried, whom they laid daily at the door of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask gifts for the needy of those who entered into the temple. Seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked to receive gifts for the needy. Peter, fastening his eyes on him, with John, said, “Look at us.” He listened to them, expecting to receive something from them. But Peter said, “Silver and gold have I none, but what I have, that I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, get up and walk!” He took him by the right hand, and raised him up. Immediately his feet and his ankle bones received strength. Leaping up, he stood, and began to walk. He entered with them into the temple, walking, leaping, and praising God. All the people saw him walking and praising God. They recognized him, that it was he who used to sit begging for gifts for the needy at the Beautiful Gate of the temple. They were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him. As the lame man who was healed held on to Peter and John, all the people ran together to them in the porch that is called Solomon’s, greatly wondering.
Here we have a real and obvious miracle that was done by Peter and John in the temple. They didn’t call for a “miracle meeting,” they just saw a man who needed help and gave him the help he needed. This wasn’t a fake miracle, because the people in the temple were used to seeing this man beg there. When they saw him, they immediately recognized him and knew that the miracle was real.
Just like Jesus had said, the signs he performed in Israel continued with the disciples. These signs still exist today, but we probably don’t hear about many of them. There are some people today who are performing questionable miracles because we don’t know the people who are being healed and can’t be sure if they were really sick. Some of those healed recently, however, were actually diagnosed by medical doctors and later found to be completely healed of their diseases. The undeniable miracles are still a sign of the continuation of the Holy Spirit’s work in the world today.
It sounds like this man was a part of a fund-raiser for the needy. I’m not sure if he had a boss, but that boss might have been a bit disappointed that he was healed. That’s an important thing to consider about giving to those who beg. We should give people what they really need. If people need food, we should consider giving them food even if they are asking for money. It is difficult to tell when someone is actually more of a swindler than a beggar. We shouldn’t be supporting swindlers but it is good to give to those in need.
It is also interesting that Peter and John didn’t have any money. This is the first we hear about the subject of finances since they lost their treasurer (Judas). Jesus had told them not to worry about money and it is pretty clear that they weren’t doing that. This is a lesson to us as well. Sometimes, we don’t need any money to do what God wants us to do. We also see that God provides what we need, to do the work He wants us to do. We do know that God expects us to work in order to get what we need.