THE HEALING OF THE LAME MAN IN ACTS 3:1-8:
DO SUCH OUTSTANDING MIRACLES STILL HAPPEN IN THE WORLD TODAY? BY PASTOR DEAN AA.BA.MDIV.DMIN
3 CONTENT INTRODUCTION
THE HEALING OF THE LAME MAN
DO THE MIRACLES LIKE “HEALING A LAME MAN HAPPEN IN THE WORLD TODAY?
4 I. Introduction I believe that most people who believe in God would say that miracles can and do occur, and would probably claim that they have either witnessed a miracle in their own or another person's life. It is normal to find people defining a miracle as an event caused by a supernatural being, which runs contrary to expected modes of behavior or laws of nature. In fact, many believers claim that God can act in the world in this way. Miracles are thought-creations. Thought can create lower-order or higher-order realities. This is the basic distinction between intellectualization and thinking. One creates the physical, and the other the spiritual, and we believe in what we create. Miracles are natural expressions of total forgiveness. Through miracles, man accepts God's forgiveness by extending it to others. All miracles mean Life, and God is the giver of Life. He will direct you very specifically. I will talk about the healing of the lame man and can the miracles like this happen in the world today? II. The healing of the lame man In Acts 3: 1-8 said that this lame man was seated at the gate of the temple. As Peter and John went up to the temple, according to their custom, they found him there. It was the ninth hour, or three o'clock in the afternoon. This was the usual time of prayer for the Jews. This was also had special significance to the Christians because it was the very hour on which Jesus had died on the cross. As Peter and John met this man who had been lame from birth. â€œThis miracle occurred at the beginning of the age, to teach us what the age is like. This lame man is a picture of the world, lying at the door of God, asking for help. Here is a sick, lame, crippled society, unable to be the kind of men and women God wants them to be, and looking in vain to the church, to the door of God, for help. They do not know what to ask for; neither did the lame man. They ask largely for material help. And the church has often made the mistake of doing its best
5 to help only on that level.”1 Devout Jews often went to the temple at three times to pray. On this day, They were making their way from the Upper Room to the temple through the gate called Beautiful. “The Beautiful Gate was the name given to one of the gates of the Temple in Jerusalem. It is usually identified as the passage from the court of the Gentiles to the court of the women, which, despite its name, permitted both (Israelite) men and women. The meaning of the term was actually that it was the courtyard of the Temple where women could also enter i.e. the Temple complex became more restrictive as one got closer to the Most Holy Place, from almost everyone permitted in the court of the Gentiles, then successively to Israelite men and women, then men, Levites, priests, to the High Priest.”2 There are about nine temple gates, and this gate was probably on the east side of the building leading from the Court of Gentiles into the women's court. The doors of this entrance were 60 feet high. The gate was called Beautiful it was one of the most popular entrances to the temple, many people passed through it on their way to worship. As Peter and John approached the gate and joined thousands of other worshippers who walked past the scores of beggars calling out for alms, their attention was suddenly drawn to "a certain lame man" (Acts 3:2). This man was over 40 years old (Acts 4:22), and he had been crippled from birth. Peter looked at the man intently. Peter and John's compassion for the poor beggar provided an opportunity for them to imitate their Lord and Saviour. Born with misaligned bones in his feet and ankles, he had never been able to stand. Peter commanded, "Look on us" (Acts 3:4). Peter wanted the man's complete attention. The beggar did as he was told, expecting to be rewarded for his obedience. But Peter's next words deflated the man's hopes: "Silver and gold have I none..." (Acts 3:6). Many times Christians ask God for the things they want, when God desires to give them the things they need. Peter continued, "but such as I have give I thee: In the 1 Ray C. Stedman. Power to Heal: Where the Action is. Discovery Publishing. March 15, 1970 PBC library; www.pbc.org/files/message 2
Wayne Blank. The Beautiful Gate. The Church of God Daily Bible Study: A Ministry of God’s Pure Word. March 15, 2007 (www.keyway.ca).
6 name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk" (Acts 3:6). "In the name of Jesus" means by the authority of Jesus. Jesus had promised to do whatever was asked in His name. “Now Peter was directing the power of the Holy Spirit into the unseen place of the man's limbs and mind. The bones would have to be realigned; socket and joint would have to be joined together. Peter reached out, took the man's hand, and helped him up. The beggar, who had felt the power of God mending his bones, grabbed Peter's hand, leaped to his feet, and miraculously began walking without ever learning how. In excitement, the newly healed man began walking and leaping and praising God.”3 In verses 9-16; The beggar went along with Peter and John into the temple court, jumping and loudly praising God. His antics drew the attention of worshippers in the temple. "And all the people saw him walking and praising God" (verse.9). After the prayer and sacrifice ended, Peter, and John, and the healed man left the inner court and made their way to Solomon's Porch on the east side of the temple. This was the area where Jesus had ministered (John 10:23) and where the church worshipped (Acts 5:12). “As a huge crowd gathered around them Peter proclaimed the Gospel to them and began by directing all credit for the miracle to Jesus (Acts 3:2). Instantly (compare Luke 4:39; 8:44, 55) the man’s feet (the term can also mean "tread" or "step") and ankle bones receive strength.”4 He stands for the first time in his life. He tries out his new freedom by walking around; then, in a response natural to one who in faith realizes that he has been touched by God's power, he moves into the court of women and then the court of Israel, walking and jumping and praising God. He has become the living embodiment of the messianic age as predicted in Isaiah 35:6, "Then will the lame leap like a deer" (Luke 7:22). The question for Christianity today; should we expect such miracles today? True, the apostles are no longer with us, and miracles seemed to cluster around them; even in the first century, 3 Isaiah Robinson. Peter and John heal a lame man. Speakin’ out News. Huntsville, Alabama. Sep. 14-Sep. 20, 2005. Vol. 25, Iss. 41, Pg. 7. 4
Robert L. Brawley, 'But God Raised Him from the Dead': The Theology of Jesus' Resurrection in LukeActs. The Catholic Biblical Quarterly. Washington: Jul 2008. Vol. 70, Iss. 3; p. 588.
7 miraculous signs were not everyday occurrences. But Jesus still is present by his Spirit in the church. So we should not be surprised if we hear reports of miracles, especially where an atmosphere of pervasive unbelief or false religion calls for a power encounter. That is why God's Word must now be preached. It will interpret the extraordinary and call for a decision. By the Spirit's power this proclamation will work repentance and saving faith in its hearers. III. Do the miracles like “Healing of the lame man in the world today?” 1. What is the miracles? The miracles can happen in our lives as well as it happened with the lame man. “Miracles are God in action on your prayers, at when you have given up the body and the world for the healer God, that is the infinite Self, until then is only like water as a wave seething and foaming, so all sufferings, streaming out of the self, to attain miracle the self be a first-rate version of the Self instead of a second-rate version of someone else.”5 Prayer is not an idle delight. Properly understood and applied, it is the most potent instrument of broken heart in action. When at the Supreme God no one can be evil, just seek the Self, compassionate and noble without fault, that nature is a major contribution for miracle. “Three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion - Three things to practice: simplicity, patience, compassion - Three things for salvation: simplicity, patience, compassion. That is Trinity of the Salvation all people - while religions salvation is religious differences on God.”6 A miracle is a supernatural event, which has no human explanation. More than that, a miracle is a supernatural event, which suspends natural law. In other words, natural law stops and is suspended while God acts; moves back out and then the natural course continue. Theologically, a miracle may be defined as God's intervention, introduction, or insertion of a new condition or factor that would otherwise be impossible 5
Kevin Mark. Compass. Witness to Wonders: Healings and miracles today. Kensington: Winter 2008. Vol. 42, Iss. 2; p. 44. 6 Keith Ward Zugon. Believing in miracels. Chicago: Sep 2002. Vol. 37, Iss. 3; p. 741.
8 naturally. Such miracles often take place after prayer-even a one-word prayer of help. Miracles of healing, for example, eliminate abnormalities attacking human health. A miracle then is an extraordinary event wrought by God that cannot be explained by any natural means. That would be the technical definition. “Some theologians have called the abnormalities parasites attached to the good health. As noted, such miracles take place in a religious context, so they are not bizarre anomalies. Theologically speaking, a miracle is not a violation or transgression of the laws of nature, even if it destroys a metastasized tumor or cancer cells, which are abnormalities in human health. It does not violate or transgress God's laws even if Jesus turns water into wine or walks on water. Instead, it inserts new material conditions to which the laws of nature apply.” 7 A miracle is an event in nature, so extraordinary in itself, and so coinciding with a prophecy or a command of a religious teacher or leader as fully to warrant the conviction on the part of those who witness it, that God has wrought it with the design of certifying that this teacher or leader has been commissioned by Him. In the New Testament, miracles and signs were again used to confirm believers and convince unbelievers. John said the miracles of Jesus were done so that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and believing you might have life in His name; and the same was true with the Apostolic miracles. “Miracles is a confirmation of God's Word when it is handled correctly (Hebrews 2:4). Studying through the book of Acts 3:1-8 we can see that miracles are also for revival or what is also known as community transformation. When God moves, He wants everyone to know, which is rightfully so since all true miracles and blessings are from God, for His glory and by His grace.”8 I believe that everyone loves miracles. A miracle is an act of God that meets the faith, needs and wants of mankind. In the beginning, the world was without form and void until God spoke it into
Robert A. Larmer. Water into Wine?. Springer Netherland. October, 2004. p. 3.
Dennis Hamm. The lame walk: An image of Church. America. New York: Apr 12, 1997. Vol.176, Iss.12; p.31.
9 existence and it was good (Genesis 1:9, 10). It was God, who created natural laws to begin with and His first act was a miracle. Miracles also have a purpose, or a meaning, often with significance in timing. “We may find it interesting, that, faith and boldness play a part in manifesting miracles. The miracles are variously described as "signs" (semeia), "wonders" (terata), "mighty works" (dunameis), and, on occasion, simply "works" (ergo). The absence of a distinct terminology for the miraculous suggests that Luke wase not working with a formal conception of "miracle"-at least not in that Humean sense of a "contravention of the laws of nature," familiar to modern readers. “The subsequent history of "miracle" saw the formalization of the rather imprecise first-century terms "signs," "wonders," "works," and their evolution into the more exact medieval categories "marvels," "portents," "preternatural" events, and "miracles."9 This was followed by the eventual emergence in the early modern period of a simple dichotomy between the natural and supernatural along with the familiar notion of miracles as violations of the laws of nature. These different ways of conceptualizing exceptions to nature's normal course are of central importance to historians both of science and of Christianity” 10 It is true that modern medical treatments like chemo therapy can destroy cancer cells, for example, but miracles of divine healing take on a new dimension of God's intervention coinciding with prayer. 2. Can miracles happen in the world today? I believe that today miracles are no different than in Acts 3:1-8. The miracles can happen today as it is in the past. But there are some questions that occurs in everybody’s heart that what if today Miracles happen that have been verified by the science that examines cause and effect in the human 9
Patricia Glover. Miami Times: Faith can move mountains. Miami, Fla.: Dec 24-Dec 30, 2008. p. 12B. Chris Lutes. Christianity Today. First church of signs and wonders. Carol Stream: Jan 8, 2001. p. 81.
10 body? But what about miracles we can see with our own eyes, in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, in the Age of Science? Technology that we have can prove the miracles as well. Many people in the world today experiences the miracles and in this paper will show some examples of people who personally experiences the miracles in their lives. God has given His children the gifts of the Spirit so that we can walk in the same power Jesus did. As the apostle Paul said about these gifts: "To another [is given] faith by the same spirit, to another gifts of healing by the same spirit, to another working of miracles" (1 Cor. 12: 9, 10). Why do healings happen today? That verse is clear. He heals through and because of the gifts of the Spirit. “Interest in Miracles is rising these days. It has been well-received by secular reviewers, and polls tell us that 90 percent of Americans believe in miracles. Maybe a miracle is an inferior imitation of something or someone too big to be packaged into sight, sound, touch, and smell Miracles, are God's show-and-tell of things that can't be shown and can never be fully heard.” 11 God is the same yesterday, today and forever. If He performed miracles years ago He can, and does, still perform them today. God can use people to perform miracles today because He is the same God and He said in His Word and He has not change. What He has don in the past; He is still doing in the world today. “Autobiographical account by a New Zealand-born Marist priest of his experiences of the use of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, especially the gift of healing. He first discovered the power of prayer with faith on a missionary journey to Fiji, and his healing ministry has taken him to the Pacific Islands, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, the United Australia.”12 Scottish philosopher David Hume, agrees, apparently. He says in his essay on miracles in his book Enquiries Concerning Human Understanding, that "if a person claiming divine authority should command a sick person to be well . . . which immediately
Margaret Guenther. Hazards of healing. The Christian century. Chicago: May 10, 1995. p.507. Philip Yancey. Christianity Today: The Most Surprising Miracle of Al.l Carol Stream: Apr 4, 1986. p. 64
11 follow upon his command, [this] might justly be esteemed [a miracle]".13 3. The miracles that happen in the world today. We might think that God changes the material conditions to which the laws apply. He does not violate his own laws. God commits no violation or transgression of the rules. The existence of God lifts the analogy beyond the human level. More than a warden, God does not violate or transgress anything of his creation when miracles occur, because he is the final authority over it. I heard a lot from medias, articles about the miracles. Mark 16:17 says miracles will follow anyone who believes. I see them on a regular basis. Including a very severe case of terminal liver cancer. Completely gone without treatment. Miracles should be wherever believers are. A. In investigating the claimed healings during the follow-ups, someone reports after receiving prayer: "My left hip was alright for some months, when I felt pain coming again . So I asked some brothers to pray for me for a second time. Since then I do not feel any more pain in my left hip".14 B. One man wrote on the questionnaire about his twisted ankle. "After prayer, the pain was gone! I tried to make it come back by twisting to what would have been uncomfortable but it was o.k. Talk about stunned." Fifteen months later he wrote: "I've had no problems with the ankle since the healing. I've tested this out with various sports like squash, badminton and some running without any reaction".15
David Hume. Enquiries concerning Human Understanding. Netherland, 2004. p.115 D.C.Lewis. Healing: Fiction, Fantasy or Fact? Spring Netherland, 2004. p.25 15 D.C.Lewis. Healing: Fiction, Fantasy or Fact? Spring Netherland, 2004. p.26 14
C. It is difficult to measure a leg lengthening when it grows out by a half an inch, even if God works a miracle. It could be attributed to natural processes. However, this report says that someone's leg was lengthened by an inch-and-a-half, during the process of prayer. "We prayed for my leg: I watched the leg come level with my right leg and even heard it grow-like breaking wood. I could not walk right for twenty years . . . I didn't wear a built-up shoe, just limped . . . They prayed for my hip to come back to the position it should be-I feel it has. For the first time in twenty-one years I can walk without discomfort or pain, it seems level to me".16 I believe that Jesus performed miracles so that indicates that miracles do exist, miracles need faith for them to be made possible and faith leads to hope. The miracles can not happen without faith. The greatest impact made by Jesus was through his miracles, which defeated the great evil of disease and sickness. Many people came to Jesus because of the miracles. God intervened and made miracles possible through Jesus. Jesus also intervened and made possible through his disciples as well in Acts 3:1-8. I believe that God can still intervene in the world today. The miracles can stilll happen in the world today. â€œOne of God's redemptive names is Jehovah Rapha is a Hebrew name that means "The Lord Heals." This word also means "physician" or "doctor." In Exodus 15:26, God said to His people: "I am the Lord who heals you." 16
D.C. Lewis. Healing: Fiction, Fantasy or Fact? Spring Netherland, 2004. p.38
13 The word Rapha refers more to physical healing than inner healing, relational healing, or national healing. He is Jehovah the Great Physician. By definition, He heals and makes healthy. His wisdom and power over disease is far greater than that of an earthly doctor. Let's put our faith in Jehovah Rapha, our Healer.”17 Christians believe in the bible and that miracles need faith, nobody can take a person's faith away from them because they will always have that sparkle of hope and faith in them. In God's eyes, any sickness or disease is oppression and a work of the devil. This doesn't mean you are demon possessed if you are sick; rather, there is a demonic source behind the illness. The Enemy is at work to afflict and destroy people's bodies. We can resist sickness because Scripture tells us that every sickness and disease is of the devil. We are also told that by faith we can do anything; Matthew 17:20 “So Jesus said to them, "Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, Move from here to there, and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you”. I challenge the thinking that miracles do not happen today, because if I believe in God, believe the Bible to be God’s words. The same Christ who was in the world nearly two thousand years ago is still in our world today. He performed miracles and set sinners free from their sins then, and He is still doing it today. He is forgiving, loving, and guiding exactly as He did then. God can heal any illness or problem within a split of a second as people deserve it and looking for it.”God did not create the earth in your wishes, sameas, God shall heal you through His the Self. These healings include: cancer, eye vision, diabetes, chronic pains, mental illness, addictions, emotional problems, all kinds of physical ailments, financial problems, problems with relationships, acquisitions of houses, jobs and promotions, victory in court cases, children, finding lost relatives, and so on.”18 A miracle is a supernatural phenomenon, a magical coincidence. It is a gift from heaven that usually has no logical explanation as to how it can be. 17
Frank Chase Jr. Rise up out of Pandemonium o’man. The Messenger Magazine. Grand Rapids: Feb.2003.
Anonymous. Sentinel. Miracle Sacred Images Just Keep Coming. Los Angeles, Calif.: mar 13-Mar 19, 2008. p. C6.
14 Awareness and acceptance of miracles can change your life from mediocre to extraordinary. IV. CONCLUSION There are a lot of miracles has been laid throughout the Bible. Many people do not believe in Miracles, or expected to see miracles happen in their lives. However, we should be able to accept with humility the need to learn from this wonderful gift from Heaven. Since the Love of God is all that we now experience, we have already learned and mastered everything about miracles. Jesus used miracles to credential himself with the people as the promised Messiah. His miracles are recorded in the first four books of the New Testament. The include turning water into wine, making blind people see, making deaf people hear and making lame people walk. He stopped one womanâ€™s hemorrhage after it had continued for 12 years. Twice he miraculously directed professional fishermen to catch fish after unsuccessful nights of fishing. He healed quite a few lepers and raised a couple of dead people. When a serious storm blew up as he was sailing across the Sea of Galilee, he spoke to it and it stopped. Another voyage found him walking right on top of the water and helping his friend, Peter, to do the same. He made a fish appear with a coin in its mouth right when he needed to pay his taxes and fed thousands with just a few fish and some pieces of bread. Jesus performed many miracles in the Bible. He gave His power to His disciples for them to be able to heal the sickness as well. According to Acts 3:1-8. The miracles occurred to the lame man. The same Holy Spirit that was in the disciples are in The believerâ€™s lives today. We need to have faith in Jesus that He can performed the miracles As well in the world today and in our lives today. I believe that we should not come to Jesus for The miracles but my point in the paper is Jesus who is in the believers is the same yesterday, today And forever. Christians believe in a God who usually works through the normal processes of the universe, and keeps them operating. We sometimes call those regular patterns the 'laws of nature', but they are only descriptions of the way the universe normally operates. They don't decree that nothing can ever
15 happen differently. The God who keeps them going can also act in a different way; a miraculous way when he has a good reason to do so. But only for good reason, not just to satisfy curiosity. Miracles draw our attention to something God wants us to know. He want us to know that He loves us And never want His children to suffer. He died on the cross for our sins, so we can be free from our sins. In the book of Acts we see the first Christian sermon (Acts 2:22) 'God proved that he sent Jesus to you by having him perform miracles, wonders, and signs.' And Peter, the speaker, could add, 'All of you know this.' No-one in ancient times, however opposed to the Christians, denied that Jesus had done miracles. Therefore, when Jesus promised the disciples in Acts 1:8 that they would receive "power" have understood it to mean at least the power of the Holy Spirit to work through their preaching and bring conviction of sins and awaken faith in people's hearts. The point is, we cannot separate these uses and say the only kind of power the New Testament talks about is power to preach the gospel, or to bring regeneration. The New Testament often uses power in referring to power to work the preaching of the gospel or in the ongoing life of the Church. "Is anything too difficult for the LORD?" (Genesis 18:14) "With God all things are possible." (Matthew 19:26) "For nothing is impossible with God." (Luke 1:37)
Anonymous. Sentinel. Miracle Sacred Images Just Keep Coming. Los Angeles, Calif.: mar 13Mar 19, 2008. p. C6 Blank, Wayne. The Beautiful Gate. The Church of God Daily Bible Study: A Ministry of God’s Pure Word. March 15, 2007 (www.keyway.ca). Brawley, Robert L., 'But God Raised Him from the Dead': The Theology of Jesus' Resurrection in Luke-Acts. The Catholic Biblical Quarterly. Washington: Jul 2008. p. 588 Chase, Frank Jr. Rise up out of Pandemonium o’man. The Messenger Magazine. Grand Rapids: Feb.2003. p.5 Glover, Patricia. Miami Times: Faith can move mountains. Miami, Fla.: Dec 24-Dec 30, 2008. p. 12B Guenther, Margaret. Hazards of healing. The Christian century. Chicago: May 10, 1995. p.507 Hamm, Dennis. The lame walk: An image of Church. America. New York: Apr 12, 1997. p.31. Larmer, Robert A., Water into Wine?. Springer Netherland. October, 2004. p. 3 Lewis, D.C. Healing: Fiction, Fantasy or Fact? Spring Netherland, 2004. p.25 Lutes, Chris. Christianity Today. First church of signs and wonders. Carol Stream: Jan 8, 2001. p. 81 Mark, Kevin. Compass: Witness to Wonders: Healings and miracles today. Kensington: Winter 2008. p. 44 Robinson, Isaiah. Peter and John heal a lame man Speakin’ out News. Huntsville, Alabama. Sep. 14-Sep. 20, 2005. p. 7
18 Stedman, Ray C. Power to Heal: Where the Action is?. Discovery Publishing. March 15, 1970 PBC library; www.pbc.org/files/message Yancey, Philip. Christianity Today. The Most Surprising Miracle of All. Carol Stream: Apr 4, 1986. p. 64 Zugon, Keith Ward. Believing in miracels. Chicago: Sep 2002. p. 74
Bachelor’s in Liberal Arts of Biblical Studies Southern Christian University Awarded the “ West Creek Award In memory of W.B and Velma West, excellent teachers of the Bible and Biblical Languages Founder and CEO of FLYHIGH MINISTRIES .www.keeponflying.org Masters in Divinity at Southern Christian University Iraq Combat Veteran, OIF III, Calvary Scout Recon.