Nehemiah 7-9 Acts 3
“It was faith in Jesus that made this crippled man well. You can see this man, and you know him. He was made completely well because of trust in Jesus, and you all saw it happen!” (Acts 3:16 NCV)
“Faith in Jesus.” That’s the crux of this whole passage. Peter and John were going to the Temple and on their way, they ran into a man who’d been crippled all his life. Setting up a begging station on the way to the Temple was good business as people were likely to be in an even more generous mood going to or from the Temple. Peter and John got his attention, told him that while they didn’t have any money to give him, they had something better, and lifted him up as he was healed by the power of Jesus. When Peter explained it to the people who saw the former beggar who was now walking and leaping and praising God, it was faith in Jesus that made him well. When you think about it, it wasn’t the faith of the man who’d been crippled. He may have heard of, or seen Jesus, but nowhere in this story do we see a proclamation of healing level faith from the beggar. The faith that made this man well was the faith that Peter and John had. They trusted the healer to make that man well, and they acted on their faith.
There’s no argument that the healed man had faith afterwards. He was walking and leaping and praising God, but his faith and joy came because of what God had done. It was Peter and John who had the faith in the one who heals. Too often when issues of healing, or answered prayer come up in our world today, those who supposedly have faith will look down on those whose prayers aren’t answered, or those who aren’t healed while making comments about their lack of faith. In truth, those of us who claim to have faith are the ones who should examine ourselves. When a healing doesn’t occur, is it because of the lack of faith of the one who seeks healing, or the lack of faith of the one administering the healing? If it was, as I contend, the faith of Peter and John that brought the healing to this man, then maybe the reason we don’t see miraculous healings isn’t because of the lack of faith of those who need healing. Ultimately, physical and spiritual healing is dependent upon God’s movement and work in this world. The faith we have is a gift from God, meant to be used as a witness to others. If we’re acting in faith, we’ll see God move in miraculous ways to change lives, to heal the sick and the lame, and to change our world as people are conformed to the image of Jesus Christ.
Lord God, move in me. Give me faith to see Your presence in this world. Give me faith to recognize when I should act, and when I should remain silent. Let me be an example of faith without knowing it as I grow so close to You that living in faith is my natural state.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved