“And Peter directed his gaze at him, as did John, and said, ‘Look at us.’” (Acts 3:4)
At first glance, the story doesn’t seem thrilling. The man is lame; the disciples show up; the man is healed. No big deal. Jesus did it all the time. On closer inspection, when we read through the Acts 3 account again and then scrutinize it further, parallel truths somersault off the page like trapeze artists in midair.
The lame man sees Peter and John approaching the temple and begs them for money. They refuse. Instead, Peter offers him these profound words: “I have no silver or gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.”
The Father’s plan reverberates through this phrase. In the way the apostles gaze at the physically lame man, God gazes at us and sees our spiritual disfigurement. The disciples initiate the cripple’s healing without him requesting it; God has initiated our healing from sin. Salvation has been his idea all along.
Peter and John could throw a few coins in the man’s hand and keep walking. But, because they’ve learned the Master’s ways, they see the beggar’s greater need and heal him in the name of Jesus Christ.
Our Heavenly Father has always recognized the true need of mankind and never dispatches trivial solutions. From the manger in Bethlehem to the empty tomb, God stoops toward the world paralyzed by sin and declares, “Look at me. What I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and LIVE.” That’s truth enough for us to leap with joy.