Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. And a man lame from birth was being carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple that is called the Beautiful Gate to ask alms of those entering the temple. Seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked to receive alms. And Peter directed his gaze at him, as did John, and said, “Look at us.” And he fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them. But Peter said, “I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!” And he took him by the right hand and raised him up, and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong. And leaping up he stood and began to walk, and entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God, 10 and recognized him as the one who sat at the Beautiful Gate of the temple, asking for alms. And they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him. [1]

This is the first detailed story of some of the signs and wonders talked about in our text from yesterday.  When we read the detail of this account, we begin to understand why wonder and awe filled the people as they saw the signs and wonders done at the hands of the Apostles.

Peter and John were doing something very ‘ordinary’ by going to the temple to pray and yet something very extraordinary would take place in this normal event in their day.  The largest crowds would have been found at this time of the day for it was one of the times of sacrifice.  Notice, however that signs and wonders weren’t being done in the gathered assembly of believers.  Peter and John were going in obedience to Christ’s command to be His witnesses, outside of the church gathering.

The beggar that day in all likelihood was expecting to receive alms as he looked at Peter and John, but received a complete healing of his lame condition!  Some people believe that these signs and wonders ceased with the completion of the New Testament and the death of the last Apostle.  However, it doesn’t make sense that Jesus would say to the disciples in the gospels, “These signs shall follow those who believe….”  Clearly, the gifts of the Holy Spirit were in operation in the marketplace, just as Jesus intended them to be.

My encouragement today is that we should expect signs and wonders to follow us wherever we go.  As reformer Martin Luther penned in his famous Hymn, “A Mighty Fortress is our God,” …The Spirit and the Gifts are ours!  We will examine the evangelistic results of this marvelous healing tomorrow.  Meanwhile, let’s go out and be his witnesses, even if we are just doing something as ‘ordinary’ as going about our everyday routine.

[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). (Ac 3:1–10). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

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