Due to a minor snafu in scheduling, I am repeating thoughts on Acts 3:1-11. Rather than throw off the entire schedule you get a “two-fer”.
Click here for today’s passage.
Recorded in the late 60’s, The Rolling Stones sang “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” and while the context of this song is “somewhat different” lets say from our passage, it is one of the first things that popped into my mind – the tag line of the song that is.
There were a few things that really stand out in this passage:
- Prayer at 3 p.m.
- a lifelong lame man begging everyday
- the word alms used in the NRSV translation
Healing – many look to the church for healing. The lame man must have felt a great sense of hopelessness – day by day being carted to the temple looking for…here is where the word alms comes in…money? A handout? I’ve never really understood why this word pops up in many translations so I did a little digging. Now promise not to screech too much but it is interesting to understand what the original Greek translation says about this very important word. The word on a superficial level can mean pity but it’s intended use is meant to convey “emotion roused by contact with an affliction which comes undeservedly on someone else”. It is about benevolent activity which I think is different than pity. This lame man is looking for a HAND-out I think.
Peter and John – going to prayer (emphasis added) and this lame man was “expecting to get something from them”. Think about it – how many days must he have been there and all he would get would be a few coins. He was looking for the church to help him. Peter’s response is so powerful – all I can give you is the ability to walk…IN THE NAME OF CHRIST!! And do not miss the next point – together they go into the very temple where this lame man spent so much of his day. The only ones not amazed were Peter and John – what they gave came from the grace of God.
Daily, there are people knocking on our doors – from within and without. What will we give them? Give them what they want?
Maybe we can give them what they want but…our ideas of what we want and what others want can’t come close to what God thinks we need. Christ showed us that it is perfect health that interests him most. Maybe we can include this in our prayers…at 3 p.m.
Peace and blessings to all as you continue to grow in God’s Word!