The earliest Christians followed a Jewish tradition of pausing to pray, preferably together, first thing in the morning, about mid morning, at noon, about mid afternoon, and in the evening. “Just a Note” posts are brief observations made from Scripture readings not related to a lectionary. If I have one to post, it normally appears about 9:00 in the morning, at “the hour of prayer.”
In Acts 3:1-10, Peter and John, on their way into the temple for prayer, are interrputed by a beggar. They certainly had seen him many times before, and he had seen them frequently before. We get the idea from this passage that he was in his normal place and that they were all acting according to their habits.
For some reason, this day was different. We don’t know what Peter and John must have perceived, but somehow they had the idea that the Lord would heal the lame man. They attracted his attention very specifically and told him that he was healed by the power of Jesus. With no fuss, no muss, no hesitation, he was healed and they raised him to his feet.
Near the end of chapter two we saw that the apostles were doing miracles. This miracle is most likely included in Acts as an example of the kind of miracle they were doing. What do we learn about it? First, that God somehow gave Peter and John the confidence that a healing would happen. Second, that we have no idea how God communicated that with his apostles. Finally, considering that the text of Acts was published freely within some twenty years or so of the event, it is quite possible that the man who was healed, along with some eyewitnesses to the event, would still be alive to remember it. We have no claims that this didn’t happen, despite its fairly early publication. The time of day and the location are clearly stated. Witnesses could easily be produced to deny the event if it had not happened.
Through the power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus can visit the sick with healing. He can give a new lease on life to someone who would have no earthly hope. In just the same way he can take our lives and make them new, according to his power. This is a gift more precious than any silver or gold.
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