• Kim Feld

2022_01_10 Insight Post- Kim Feld

This week's reading- Acts 3-4

Acts 3 begins with Peter and John walking to the temple for afternoon prayers. A man, unable to walk his entire life, was being carried to one of the gates to beg. Luke tells us that the man saw Peter and John and asked them for money as they were about to enter the temple. Nothing unusual there; he was likely asking everyone who crossed his path. But Luke clues us into something happening at that moment:

4 Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!” 5 So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them. Acts 3:4-5 NIV

If we were watching this on the big screen, this is the point that the musical score would begin to build. Other versions use words like “looked him straight in the eye,” “looked intently,” “fixed his gaze,” and “fastening his eyes.” This was more than a glance – they really looked at this man and demanded that he do the same to them.

Watching this scene play out in my mind, I imagine begging to be a shameful experience. I wonder how many people looked this man in the eye, even when they gave him money? I’m also wondering what was going on with Peter and John. I imagine the Holy Spirit giving them guidance on what to do at this moment. Acts 2 tells us that many signs and wonders were occurring through the apostles (see Acts 2:43), but this is the first specific one that Luke writes about and attributes to Jesus working through Peter. Peter makes it crystal clear to the man that this healing is occurring through the power of the name of Jesus Christ:

6 Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk” (Acts 3:6 NIV).

Can you feel the power and intensity of that moment? Peter takes the man’s right hand and helps him to his feet. Luke doesn’t indicate that the man resisted at all. Instead, he tells us that the man’s feet and ankles were immediately strengthened. Remember, these were feet and ankles that had never born the weight of the man’s body! No wonder the man started jumping all around! The others in the temple notice what’s happening, and they lose their minds! Peter seizes the moment and begins sharing about Jesus, the source of healing power.

Verse 11 tells us that the man was clinging to Peter and John. Can you even imagine?! I can barely stand the beauty of this story - the power in the name of Jesus and the humanity and tenderness of being fully seen. Peter and John connected with this man and shared their true wealth with him. There is power in the name of Jesus.

Kim Feld

Executive Director of Education and Outreach