The Reading: Acts 3:1-13
“in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk” (v.6) RSV
For three years the disciples had been with Jesus and seen him heal the sick, cast out demons and raise the dead. While he was alive they started to do the same works themselves. First he sent out the Twelve on a mission (Matthew 10:5-8), and then he sent out the Seventy-Two (Luke 10:1-9). But now he had gone (in his physical form), and they were having to continue his ministry inspired by his Holy Spirit.
Jesus had told them they would be able to do the works he had done, and indeed they would do even greater works (John 14:12). However, it is not so easy to continue with the same confidence when the Master has gone. Yet the disciples did continue to do the works of Jesus. The Holy Spirit gave them the boldness and the confidence.
So here we have the story of the healing of the lame man who sat daily at the gate called Beautiful outside the Temple. Peter and John were on their way into the Temple to pray, but on this occasion they were prompted to stop and encounter the beggar. At first the man was not looking for, or believing in, healing; he wanted money. But Peter and John encouraged by the Spirit elicited faith and hope in him. They said the word: “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk” (v.6). They further encouraged the man by giving him a helping hand. The man responded in faith and obedience. He rose, walked and leaped in the air!
Now, it is essential to note how Peter explains how he had the authority to say the word. It was not because of his and John’s own “power of piety” (v.12). They were not special saints or innately gifted. They were simply operating in obedience to Christ’s commission. They had directed the man’s attention to Jesus Christ and proclaimed that he would receive healing through him.
We too (modern day disciples) are required to do the same. We are to point people to Christ and then say the word as if we are Christ (we are his mouthpiece), and then stand back to see the power of God at work.
Thank you Lord for your mighty power. Thank you for all who minister in Jesus’ name. May the world come to believe. Amen.
1 How thorough was the healing of this man?
2 How essential is the name of Jesus?