Sunday – January 19, 2020
Word On Worship – Sunday – January 19, 2020
But Peter said, “I do not possess silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you: In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene — walk!” And seizing him by the right hand, he raised him up; and immediately his feet and his ankles were strengthened. With a leap he stood upright and began to walk; and he entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God.
According to Cornelius a Lapide, Thomas Aquinas once called on Pope Innocent II when the latter was counting out a large sum of money. “You see, Thomas,” said the Pope, “the church can no longer say, ‘Silver and gold have I none.’” “True, holy father,” was the reply; “neither can she now say, ‘Rise and walk.’” Before you lift your eyes in superiority, realize we Protestants pride ourselves for not having money, and yet we are seldom heard saying one word which Peter and the apostles frequently used –“give”. We cannot repeat Peter’s words either, not if we are honest. The church today tries desperately to draw crowds by any means. If we cannot perform miracles, then with magic shows, pony rides, and circus acts.
You may notice that there are great similarities between the miracle which we find in our text and the miracles performed by Jesus (Matthew 21) and by Paul (Acts 14). That is because the Lord Jesus was at work in each case, fulfilling the Messianic promise of healing of the lame, as found in Isaiah 35. When John the Baptist wavered in his faith as to whether or not Jesus was the Messiah, our Lord pointed to the healing of the lame as evidence to the fact that He was the Messiah (Matthew 11).
God had marvelously prepared this scene. The healed man had spent his life around the temple, begging. Everyone knew him—they couldn’t have avoided him. The man, and his condition, were well known by all who frequented the temple. And the fact that he had been crippled from his mother’s womb was more than ample evidence that he was hopelessly disabled, and thus the miracle was a spectacular one. The people who witnessed this were understandably filled with wonder and amazement.
There is a clear evidence of the “supernatural” hand of God in our text. But there is also a clear sense of the “natural.” The disciples were acting naturally; that is, they were on their way to the temple to pray. They did not go out of their way nor did they attempt to attract a crowd. They did not have any money, but they did possess the power of the Holy Spirit, which the Lord Jesus had poured out on them. And so, when they encountered a man in need, they gave what they had; they did what they could. And when a crowd gathered, they shared their faith. A very supernatural thing took place from some very natural actions. That is the way God often works, using vessels of clay through which to manifest His grace and power. May we be faithful as vessels of clay, to be instruments in His hands, to produce marvelous things.