A man is sitting outside the church. Every day we pass him by, but we never invite him in. He is too dirty, too crippled, too removed from our comfortable lives. I mean, why doesn’t he get a job? Why doesn’t he fix himself up and stop asking for a free lunch, right? “Okay,” so you think, “Pastor Briant, that’s pushing it too far.” Well, let’s read the text, shall we?
In Acts 3:1-26, this same man is carried to the temple every day (v. 2). He is lame from birth. Every encounter he has had with temple people has left him feeling more and more dehumanized. I mean, they give him some change, but do they look him in the eye? Do they shake his hands and ask how his day is going? Do they think to take him home and feed him? According to the text, the answer is NO!
Luke gives us a little detail in verse 4 that spells this out. The point he makes is that others did not look him in the eye. So they tell the man, “Look at us!” This man had not only been crippled physically, but emotionally, also. He was making no plans for the future; he had no future. And then Peter and John entered his field of vision. The moment he saw them, he knew he could get something, but what Peter was about to give him was far more than he was expecting.
Come and find out!