Don’t Miss Out On Jesus | Wayne Massey
Peter Heals a Lame Beggar
1 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 recognised 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.
Are we missing out?
When Peter told the man begging at the temple gate that he had no money, he didn’t mean he had left his cash at home. He was expressing something much deeper – that his core identity was not based on his wealth or status. He knew himself to be as poor as that beggar, but incredibly rich because Jesus had taken his place, dying on the cross, and allowing him into a relationship with God.
We tend to build our identity around our possessions, our work, our relationships and life events. And when that structure is threatened, we can react with anger or get depressed. We might turn to prayer, but find ourselves praying for our identity structure to be held intact, rather than opening ourselves to Jesus and finding our identity in him.
It seems safer to keep an element of control, so we try to battle on in our own strength. But are we in danger of missing out on what God can do in and through us? It feels so risky to give ourselves completely to God, and ask ‘What do you want, Lord?’ But his invitation is there, to step into the fullness of a life lived with him, just as Peter invited the beggar to stand up and walk.
Jesus invites us into life in all its fullness. When we give everything to him, we have more space in our lives for all that he gives us. We find a new freedom, we begin to heal. And we want to give to others what we have been given, sharing this new life with them. When we as individuals or as the Church let go of our own self-oriented ways and look for Jesus’ way, God is seen to work powerfully. If we are up for this, we won’t keep missing out on what God’s got for us and what he wants to bless others with, through us.