“Peter and John looked at him intently, and Peter said, ‘Look at us!’ The lame man looked at them eagerly, expecting some money. But Peter said, ‘I don’t have any silver or gold for you. But I’ll give you what I have. In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, get up and walk!’” (Acts 3:4-6, NLT).
Since it’s the Christmas season, I think this gift-giving story of a different sorts is appropriate.
One day Peter and John went to the Temple for the afternoon prayer service. There was a man who had been lame for more than forty years (vs. 4:22) laying at the Temple gate begging for money.
As Peter and John were about to enter the Temple, the man asked them for money. Peter explained that he didn’t have any money to give the man, but he would give the man what he did have, which was the gift of healing in the name of Jesus Christ.
The man was instantly and undeniably cured and he jumped up and down excitedly and praised God (vs. 8). When all the people coming to the Temple saw and heard the formerly lame beggar, they were amazed and began to gather in the Temple.
“Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, Your sins are forgiven, or to say, Rise, take up your bed and walk? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins—he said to the paralytic—I say to you, rise, pick up your bed, and go home.” (Mark 2:9-11, ESV).
Jesus was at His home in Capernaum (the base for His ministry) where many people were gathered listening to Him teach and preach. Four men carrying a paralytic man tried to bring him to Jesus for healing, but they were unable to get the disabled man near Jesus because there was no more room in the house. Then, they went up on the roof and removed some of the clay roof tiles (see Luke 5:19) and hoisted the paralytic man down near Jesus.
“But I know this; I was blind, and now I can see!…He healed my eyes, and yet you don’t know where he comes from? We know that God doesn’t listen to sinners, but he is ready to hear those who worship him and do his will. Ever since the world began, no one has been able to open the eyes of someone born blind. If this man were not from God, he couldn’t have done it.” (John 9:25,30-33, NLT).
As Jesus and His disciples are walking along they came across a man who was blind from birth and was also a beggar.
The disciples asked Jesus to provide a theological explanation for the man’s unfortunate condition and circumstances: “Why was this man born blind? Was it because of his own sins or his parents’ sins?” (vs 2).
“Jesus said to him, ‘Go; your son lives.’ The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and started off. As he was now going down, his slaves met him, saying that his son was living… and he himself believed and his whole household. This is again a second sign that Jesus performed when He had come out of Judea into Galilee” (John 4:50-51,53-54, NASB).
While Jesus was in Cana of Galilee, a royal official from Capernaum approached Jesus and asked Him to come to Capernaum and heal his son who was dying. Rather than accompanying the official the twenty miles to Capernaum, Jesus declared the boy was healed: “Go, your son lives” (vs. 50) and the man believed the words that Jesus spoke and returned to Capernaum on his own.
“‘Go your way,’ Jesus told him. ‘Your faith has healed you.’ Immediately he could see and began to follow Him on the road” (Mark 10:52, HCSB).
This verse is the conclusion to the familiar story of blind Bartimaeus. Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem accompanied by a large entourage of people. He had just left Jericho when He passed by Bartimaeus, a blind beggar sitting by the road.
When Bartimaeus heard that Jesus was passing by, he began to cry out: “Son of David, Jesus, have mercy on me!”
Bartimaeus was pleading so loudly that people told him to keep quiet, but he just cried out for Jesus all the more.