One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon. 2 Now a man who was lame from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. 3 When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. 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.
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.” 7 Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. 8 He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. 9 When all the people saw him walking and praising God, 10 they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.
This past Sunday, we reflected on the healing of a lame man by Peter and John in Acts 3. We primarily focused on v. 6 “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, walk.’”
For Peter and John the Name of Jesus Christ obviously had great significance. It was more than just a name. It represented the very presence of Jesus and the Kingdom he came to build. The name Jesus meant salvation, healing, peace, life, wholeness, hope and love.
This episode is consistent with the intention of Jesus that Luke the author of Acts is wanting to convey…that Jesus’ disciples will be witnesses and representatives of Jesus’ message and kingdom. Here these disciples are simply doing what they saw Jesus do, claiming his authority that Jesus transfers to his disciples (Matt. 28:19-20) and then living boldly by being willing to step out in risk-taking obedience to heal this lame man in desperate need of help.
This episode teaches/challenges us regarding how we treat and represent Jesus in our day to day living. For Peter and John and every follower of Jesus, the name Jesus, when called upon is simply pulling back the curtain on the real and tangible presence of Jesus in every situation and inviting him to be the center of that situation. In this episode Peter and John were called upon to heal this lame man. Other times his followers are called upon to speak the truth of Jesus’ name and risk offending others (see Stephens faithful witness of Jesus in Acts 6). There are numerous ways in any given day that we can give witness to Jesus, His presence and the power of His Name.
What does the name of Jesus mean to you? What does it stir in you? How does his name shape the way you live and the way you are present in any and all situations- today and everyday?