Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Acts 3:8-10

Acts 3:8-10
And while leaping forth he stood and was walking around.  And he went into the temple with them while walking around and while leaping forth and while praising God.  And all the people saw him while walking around and while praising God.  And they were recognizing him since he was to one who sat with compassion upon the Timely gate of the temple.  And they were being filled of astonishment and put out of mind upon the thing that has happened to him.

Thoughts for Today:

First Thought:

The first point today is huge: the lame beggar goes into the temple.  The reason that this is huge is because unlike today, where we have buildings designed so that they are handicapped friendly, in those days they had prohibitions about who could enter into the temple.  They had areas where anyone could go, areas where only Jews with no serious physical defect could go, then areas where men with no defect could go, then areas where only priests (who by definition had no physical defect) could go, and then an area where just the high priest could go.  So not only is the man healed, but for the first time in probably his whole life he gets to go inside the court of the Gentiles (where anyone could go) and see the parts of the temple that had been off-limits to him because of his physical defect.  No wonder he leapt as he went in!

Have you ever felt shut out of something or excluded for some reason?  How does it feel when you finally gain access to what had formerly been put away from you?

Second Thought:

I still want to focus on this “first-time in the temple” thing.  Obviously the man was ecstatic.  He leapt for joy.  He literally leapt for joy because his life was permanently changed and he could draw closer to God than he could ever have done in the past.

How good are we at “leaping for joy” in celebration of what God has done?  When we have those watershed moments where faith suddenly feels like we are closer to God, are we good at leaping for joy and showing everyone just how excited about it we happen to be?

Third Thought:

The people around the temple are amazed.  They are dumbfounded.  Yet they praise God for what they see and cannot fathom.  I love the response of the people here.  We don’t sense any jealousy or irritation that this man was blessed in such an obvious manner and they weren’t.  They simply praise God for God’s presence.

Imagine hearing about some miraculous event in the life of someone you work with or go to school with - someone you know well enough to recognize but not well enough to actually know them.  How easy would it be to feel happiness for them?  How easy would it be to feel a hint of jealousy?


Passage for Tomorrow: Acts 3:11-15
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