Begging At The Gate Called Beautiful
Are we like beggars at the outer gate? Hoping for small handouts?
Or are we like Peter, drawing upon the overflow of God’s lavish gift of the Spirit to see sinners saved and cripples leap for joy?
Every day, the crippled beggar is carried to the temple entrance—the one called Beautiful—collecting small coins and handouts from those going in to worship. Peter passes by with John on their way to the inner court. The beggar asks for money. Peter pauses. Considering the beggar in light of the finished work of Christ, empowered by the Holy Spirit, he becomes a vessel for a spiritual transaction that calls the beggar from his post outside the temple to his place among the beloved of the Lord inside.
“Silver and gold I do not have, but what I have I give you.”
Taking the beggar by the hand, Peter lifts him up. The man’s legs become instantly strong, his whole body leaping for joy and praising God as they enter together the temple court. The people are amazed. This is the guy that used to beg at the gate called Beautiful, the man who has been begging there for as long as anyone can remember, now standing strong and whole and gushing like a spring of water in the sanctuary of the Lord.
“By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has given this complete healing to him, as you can all see.”
Have we seen this? Have we discovered and exercised the power inherent in the name of Jesus?
The crippled man relied on paltry gifts. Peter had none of these, but he gave what he had: his faith in the greater gift of Jesus, the one who gives complete and lavish gifts to those who believe, to those who expect greater things to flow from the life-power of the risen Christ.
Spiritual paupers beg for small gifts. People of faith may ask for greater things. We may anticipate, expect and imagine for inside-out renewal and complete healing, not by any power of our own, but from the streams of living water flowing from deep within those who truly believe in the name and authority of Jesus Christ.
Have we been expecting too little? Are we stuck at the outer gate begging for small treasures, when we could be ministers of the extravagant power intrinsic in Christ? Are we living like beggars or rich men in the Kingdom of our God, who gives all things—even miracles?