Miracles... Then and Now
Peter and John were going to the temple at 3pm (the 9th hour) to pray. A lame man from birth was being carried to the Beautiful gate at the temple to ask for alms. This man was probably there every day, and Jesus probably had seen him there before. Peter and John were empowered by the Holy Spirit to perform a miracle where the man was made whole.
A miracle is an act or event that occurs outside the bounds of the natural order that demonstrates God's involvement in the course of human affairs. Miracles tell a story. God breaks in for a reason!
There is a really intentional use of "seeing" words used here. In verse 3, it begins, "seeing Peter and John". This word is "eidon", which is a casual glance. In verse 4, Peter "directed his gaze at him" which is the word "atenizo", which means to look intently. Peter then says, "Look at us", which is the word "blepo", which means they are fully participating with anticipation. Verse 5 says, "And he fixed his attention on them", which is the word "epochon". This word speaks to the beggar expecting to receive something from them.
The lame man was made well through the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth! "He entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God." He was a visual image to a Jewish people of an expected Messiah from Isaiah 35:6 which says, "Then the lame with leap like a deer." This led to belief and Peter took the opportunity to once again the share the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Verse 19 says, "Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out..." This was a beautiful word picture in that parchment was expensive, so sometimes scribes used acid-free ink as they wrote on it. The ink just laid on top of the parchment, so a person could take a wet sponge and wipe a message away, blotting it out.
By the end of this opportunity, there were 5000 men who believed (4:1-4). The new church was growing!
Should we expect miracles today? Yes, but with humility and wisdom as we surrender to His sovereignty and timing.
To Discuss Today:
1. Think about a dry-erase board with all your sin written on it. When you give your life to Jesus, he wipes that clean! Have you really let Him wipe it clean, or have you written on it with a sharpie in your mind. Are you able to have the freedom from sin that He has offered?
2. Do you believe God still performs miracles today? Do you have the confidence in your Father to believe that He can do miraculous things for His glory?
3. When is the last time you earnestly prayed, "Father, I know you CAN, WOULD you intervene in..."?
4. Have you experienced a miracle? If so, how did God use it for His glory and for the gospel to continue to continue to spread?