Bible Reading: Acts 3:1-26
Although He was fully God, Jesus laid aside His rights as God, and chose to minister as a man anointed and empowered by the Holy Spirit [Acts 10:38].
The working of miracles is clearly seen in the ministry of Jesus. He turned water into wine, fed thousands of people with five loaves and two fishes, opened the eyes of a man born blind, raised the dead, and set people free from demonic powers. The disciples of Jesus had seen this and were impacted by what they saw Jesus do. When Jesus sent them out on a mission He told them to do the things that they had seen Him do. “Heal the sick, and tell them, ‘The Kingdom of God is near you now’” [Luke 10:9 NLT].
Following Pentecost when the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit, they continued to do the things that they saw Jesus do, ministering in the power of the Holy Spirit and the name of Jesus! A wonderful example is the miraculous healing of the man lame from his mother’s womb in Acts chapter 3. Notice, it was in the name of Jesus that he was made whole.
This story of the man who was lame from birth is both a healing and a miracle as Professor Elizabeth Hillstrom explains:
“The healing of the man who was crippled from birth, recorded in Acts 3:1-10, is even more astounding. In his case, muscles in his feet and legs that were weak from disease had to be restored and strengthened, and any bone or neural abnormalities had to be repaired. All of this instantaneous replacing and repairing is incredible enough, but if, as the passage suggests, this man had never walked; the miracle is amazing for another reason.
Walking upright is a very complicated process, and it takes young children a long time and a good many bumps to lean how to do it. While children are learning to walk, neuronal circuits are apparently formed in motor areas of their brains, which can later automatically command the complicated, highly orchestrated muscle movements that are necessary for walking. To enable this man to walk, the Holy Spirit not only had to repair his feet and legs but also had to activate (or create) neurons in the motor areas of the brain and then lay down all the complicated neuronal circuits that are normally established gradually through long practice. Yet when this man rose to his feet, not only did he know how to walk, but he could run and jump as well.”
[Hillstrom, Elizabeth L. Testing the Spirits. Downer’s Grove, IVP, 1995]
Imagine the creative power of the Holy Spirit who could by-pass those years of learning to walk and run in a moment. This is our God!
Following the miracle of the lame man being healed how did the crowd respond and what did Peter say to correct their thinking? What did this miracle give the opportunity for Peter to do?
Read Acts 4:9-10. What was the key to this man’s miracle? Why is the name of Jesus so powerful?