When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for some money. 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!” Then Peter took the lame man by the right hand and helped him up. And as he did, the man’s feet and ankles were instantly healed and strengthened. He jumped up, stood on his feet, and began to walk! Then, walking, leaping, and praising God, he went into the Temple with them.
All the people saw him walking and heard him praising God. When they realized he was the lame beggar they had seen so often at the Beautiful Gate, they were absolutely astounded! They all rushed out in amazement to Solomon’s Colonnade, where the man was holding tightly to Peter and John.Acts 3:3-11
I suggested in the last Gems I felt it was time to address Suryadi’s and Laurel’s questions together.
If the lame-man each day stayed at the Temple gate, why [had] he never met with Jesus before? Around 60-75 days before, – Jesus came in Jerusalem, came to the Temple, also Jesus was angry with many businessmen who had their commodities offered at the Temple. Everyday Jesus had touched [people] in the Temple. So where was the lame-man at that time?
Now you have to admit that is a good question. I didn’t get any answers from the Gems readers for you Suryadi, so it seems it is up to me. Ha ha.
Take note of these following verses.
All were healed
- Matt 4:24 News about Him spread as far as Syria, and people soon began bringing to Him all who were sick. And whatever their sickness or disease, or if they were demon possessed or epileptic or paralyzed—He healed them all.
- Matt 8:16 That evening many demon-possessed people were brought to Jesus. He cast out the evil spirits with a simple command, and He healed all the sick.
- Matt 12:15 But Jesus knew what they were planning. So He left that area, and many people followed Him. He healed all the sick among them,
- Matt 14:14 Jesus saw the huge crowd as He stepped from the boat, and He had compassion on them and healed their sick.
- Matt 15:30 A vast crowd brought to Him people who were lame, blind, crippled, those who couldn’t speak, and many others. They laid them before Jesus, and He healed them all.
- Matt 19:2 Large crowds followed Him there, and He healed their sick.
- Matt 21:14 The blind and the lame came to Him in the Temple, and He healed them.
- Luke 4:40 As the sun went down that evening, people throughout the village brought sick family members to Jesus. No matter what their diseases were, the touch of His hand healed every one.
- Luke 6:19 Everyone tried to touch Him, because healing power went out from Him, and He healed everyone.
- Luke 9:11 But the crowds found out where He was going, and they followed Him. He welcomed them and taught them about the Kingdom of God, and He healed those who were sick.
- Acts 5:16 Crowds came from the villages around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those possessed by evil spirits, and they were all healed.
- Acts 19:12 When handkerchiefs or aprons that had merely touched his skin were placed on sick people, they were healed of their diseases, and evil spirits were expelled.
- Acts 28:9 Then all the other sick people on the island came and were healed.
Not all were healed
- Matt 14:36 They begged Him to let the sick touch at least the fringe of His robe, and all who touched Him were healed.
- Mark 3:10 He had healed many people that day, so all the sick people eagerly pushed forward to touch Him.
- Mark 6:13 And they cast out many demons and healed many sick people, anointing them with olive oil.
- Mark 6:56 Wherever He went—in villages, cities, or the countryside—they brought the sick out to the marketplaces. They begged Him to let the sick touch at least the fringe of His robe, and all who touched Him were healed.
- Acts 8:7 Many evil spirits were cast out, screaming as they left their victims. And many who had been paralyzed or lame were healed.
- Matt 14:35 When the people recognized Jesus, the news of His arrival spread quickly throughout the whole area, and soon people were bringing all their sick to be healed.
Then in addition to these verses, there are many more verses which indicate that out of a crowd of people, many of whom no doubt needed healing, Jesus only healed one person whom He singled out. Either Jesus Himself chose the person or there was something about the faith, perseverance or persistence of the one who was healed, that brought about their healing. They were willing to push through and go the extra mile. There were on occasions healing which took place for people to whom Jesus asked what they wanted Him to do for them. If this man, who I have already concluded Jesus probably saw before but passed by, had been asked that question, what would he have answered? I suspect he was in a rut, a routine of asking for money. Like I commented on when I wrote the Gems about Bartmaeus, the blind beggar beside the road. (Gems 1124 to 1130) It seems to me this lame man had long been in this situation and long since accepted his plight. All he seemed intent on asking for was money. So much so that his appeal to Peter and John was for money, hence their reply.
I suspect Jesus knew the man’s heart completely and chose to by-pass him, if indeed their lives intersected. It seems strange doesn’t it from the above verses that sometimes Jesus healed everyone and sometimes He healed some and other times He healed one out of the crowd. I think there are two underlying reasons.
- Jesus didn’t need anyone to tell Him about what was in a man or woman because He knew all people totally (John 2:23-25). He knew those He was going to touch with healing and those He was going to leave, perhaps for another day. We are told He only did the will of the Father. For some inexplicable reason not all who require healing are healed. It is also not a matter of someone needing to touch the sick person and pray for them, in order for them to be healed. God’s healing power can touch beyond those in the front row or within touching distance.
- There are times when those we long to be healed, are not. It is one of the mysteries of God. Sometimes God leaves people in their condition for a while longer for them to undergo a change of attitude. Sometimes it is His kindness that heals even when they don’t deserve it. Sometimes a person is left sick to perfect something within their being. It is a hard matter to understand. Ultimately we have to leave it to God who judges and operates justly. Perhaps also there had to be some who were as yet not healed so that Peter, John and later Paul, had some sick to practice on. (I say that tongue in cheek.)
God and Jesus are omniscient and know the exact moment when healing will take place. Jesus can afford to not heal at one moment knowing that at a later time the person will be healed. Still others remained unhealed when their loved ones were longing for their healing, even if the person themselves had given up. I don’t know the final answer on the matter because I am not God. It’s one of those matters we just have to accept and leave to God.
If the lame man (or anybody who wants to be healed) had a wicked thought, disbelief, doubt or refused to respond, would the miracle still have work?
Now that too is a good question. Ponder Laurel’s question too. How would you answer her? Again no answers came forth. I know why. It’s because this whole area of why some are healed and some are not is such a hard one to deal with. I have had many times in my life where I have been far more faithful and full of faith in praying for someone to be healed and they were not. Other times my prayer for a person’s healing has in my opinion not been as fervent or as focused and yet the person was healed. It is a mystery. There are times when a person’s disbelief prevents the miracle or the healing. There are numbers of times in Scripture where we are told Jesus could do no healing in “that” place because of their unbelief. Yet in other places despite a shaky unbelieving attitude in the person concerned, they are healed. I myself have been a doubter and not believed in the so called healing when there were no apparent signs of healing, only for God to heal me later in His time. (see Gem 433) Sometimes it seems the deserving are healed and other times the undeserving are healed and the deserving are not. GOD WHAT ARE YOU DOING? More importantly, WHY DO YOU DO IT THIS WAY? Because He is God and He knows what is best.
Many times there is a healing where the person has done nothing to deserve healing and yet they are healed which then leads to their repentance and a life of believing in Jesus. Other times a person believes in God and yet the fact that they or someone close to them were not healed results in them falling away from God. I have known people in both categories. It is inexplicable unless you are God. I do know in business or in organisational matters as you move higher in the chain of command, the person at the top knows more about the situation to make a wiser decision. As you move higher up the chain you realise that you don’t necessarily know all the facts. How much truer must that be when it comes to God and us in matters of prayer for healing? In the end, leave it to God who judges justly and trust His judgment or His willingness to heal or not, as the case may be. That is why He is God and we are not.
What I find fascinating about this account of the lame man in Acts 3, is the fact that he was locked on to his need for money. I suspect whether face to face with Jesus or with Peter and John or all of the disciples, he was more intent on asking for alms than he was in asking for healing. His need for money masked the real issue. His problem was not lack of money. His ultimate problem was the fact that he was severely lame and needed his friends to lift him into place. I wonder what he would have answered if Jesus Himself asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” Would he have been astute enough to have asked to be healed? Or would his answer have been more short sighted than that and he asked for money believing that to be his problem? I think you can see what I am saying. Sometimes we ourselves don’t perceive what our problem really is. We haven’t put it together yet that the problem is not our lack of money, it’s our sickness. Oh, not our physical sickness, that’s easier to spot. Yet for this man in question, seemingly not so. He doesn’t seem to grasp what his real problem is and focuses only on his need for money. What I am saying here is the sickness that comes from sin is harder for us to grasp. And more especially within our own lives. We think the problem is not that we don’t have any friends. But the underlying problem is the chip on our shoulder which leads to our anger which drives potential friends away. Little realising that our anger stems from our unforgiveness toward someone who wronged us in the past and beyond that, ultimately our unforgiveness toward God who let it happen in the first place. Sometimes we need to be able or enabled to see what the real issue is, before our healing will come. It’s not the healing of our body that is ultimately of most importance but the healing of our mind, attitudes, psyche and soul.
I think it is now time to stop. I will be guided by your responses to determine whether I continue this topic for discussion or not.
Remember this quote: Is it possible for an unbaptized believer to be saved? Yes, definitely. Should every believer be baptized? Yes, definitely.Max Lucado
Is it possible for a person to be healed when they harbour unbelief? Yes definitely. Does unbelief prevent healing? Yes definitely.Ian Vail
The beginning of honesty is the confession of dishonesty.Anon
In the same way perhaps the beginning of healing is the confession of our true need.Ian Vail