Monday, August 6, 2012

Beautiful


And fixing his eyes on him, with John, Peter said, “Look at us.”  So he gave them his attention, expecting to receive something from them.  Then Peter said, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.” – Acts 3:4-6

He was beside a gate called BEAUTIFUL leading to Solomon’s temple.  I’ve always thought this was ironic, considering the man was a crippled beggar, and had become a regular at the gate.  Beautiful? What could be beautiful about that?  But from God’s eternal eyes, which saw what would one day happen there, it was beautiful.
Day after day the crippled man sat by the gate asking for money.  He didn’t beg to be healed, which is what he needed most.  He begged for his immediate need – money.  Perhaps he’d given up completely on the thought of ever being healed.  Maybe he had never encountered the Living God to find his hope.  So every day was exactly like the one before.  He’d struggle to the gate, and wait to beg from those that came through the gate.  Little did he know that on this certain day His begging days would end. 
Peter and John, Jesus’ disciples, came to the gate and looked at the man.  Maybe their look upon him wasn’t the kind most people had and maybe that in God’s eyes was beautiful.  The crippled man didn’t look back.  I suppose at this point, he failed to make eye contact quite often.  The looks of people on him had to be hurtful, seeing the distaste and pity in their eyes.  So the disciples called out to him to look at them.
They travelled without the things most of us would take, such as money and clothing.  This was Jesus’ desire for them so that they could be taken care of by other believers along the way.  But what they were packing was powerful!  They had the Holy Spirit within them, and Jesus had already said that they would do even greater miracles than He while on the earth. 
And then it happened.  In the name of JESUS, they pronounced him healed.  Was that all it took?  Was it that simple?  Just commanding him to walk and saying “Jesus”?  YES.  Their faith was present, the Holy Spirit was present, and they used the name that makes even demons tremble - Jesus.  It wasn’t a magic incantation.  It was the will of God and the will of man meeting with the power of the Holy Spirit. 
Now that, in my eyes, is beautiful.  In that very moment, God looked down on what was beautiful: a man reaching out to help another.  They could have passed by, throwing a quarter into his bucket, and felt they’d done all they should.  But Peter and John looked beyond what he requested, and desired to help him. 
I think what God wants most from us is to truly see the needs of each other.  For some it’s the day to day needs of food, clothing, shelter, and health care.  For others it’s healing, which Jesus has said we should give in His name.  And for others, it’s salvation.  Maybe they only want a dollar on the corner as we enter Wal-Mart.  But wouldn’t it be beautiful if we took the time to really see their need?

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