by Andrew Hillard
Imagine doing the same thing in the same place all day every day for your entire life. The current quarantine may offer support for our weary imaginations at this point, even if what feels like a lifetime has just now been a month, but for the man introduced to us in Acts 3, the monotony was much more protracted. As Peter and John are on their way to the temple for prayer, we meet a man who was lame from birth who was “laid daily at the gate of the temple…to ask alms of those entering the temple.” Like Peter and John going up to pray, this is a day that started like any other for the man begging for alms. Naturally, he expected it to continue like any other day, so when Peter said to him, “Look at us,” the man looked up, “expecting to receive something from them.” This is how his life worked. Why would this day be any different?
Peter didn’t waste any time in dashing the man’s expectations. There would be no silver or gold given on this day. Instead, Peter offers something completely unexpected, “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk” (Acts 3:6)! Without a doubt, this wasn’t what the man was expecting to hear on this day, but his day would get even more surprising. Taking Peter’s hand, the man stood up, “And leaping up, he stood and began to walk, and entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God” (Acts 3:9). And as a result, the good news of Jesus was preached to many more who were amazed by what happened to this man. What began as a day like any other became a day that changed everything for the man begging at the gate and for those who heard about the power of Jesus that changed his life. God’s power to move on that day wasn’t limited by the expectations of those involved, and the good news for us is that it isn’t today either. What is it you’re looking for today? The friends whose updates fill your news feed, what are they expecting to see? When the man at the gate looked at Peter and John, he heard and saw the power of Jesus to change his life. What will people see and hear from us today?