The man went into the Temple with them, walking back and forth, dancing and praising God. Everybody there saw him walking around and praising God. They recognized him as the one who sat begging at the Temple’s Gate Beautiful and rubbed their eyes, astonished, scarcely believing what they were seeing. The man threw his arms around Peter and John, ecstatic. All the people ran up to where they were at Solomon’s Porch to see it for themselves. (Acts 3:8-11 MSG)
He spent most of his life watching people go to the Temple to pray while he remained outside its gates to beg. And as people passed him by every day at three o’clock in the afternoon to pray, only two of them stopped and took real pity on him. Peter, with John at his side, said to the crippled man, “I don’t have a nickel to my name, but what I do have, I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk!” (Acts 3:6). And it was this kind of prayer that God was willing to answer!
I wonder how many of us go through our Christian duties while neglecting the needs of those around us. Isn’t it ironic how everyone went up to the Temple to pray – probably about their own needs because let’s face it, that’s what the majority of us do anyway – while overlooking the man who sat there in need of not just money but healing! It’s obvious from the story that only Peter and John said a prayer for him. We know this man was eager to go in the Temple and praise God because that’s exactly what he did right after he was healed. The people only recognized him after seeing him inside the Temple.
The crippled man reminds us that the things we often take for granted are often the things that others are praying for. He couldn’t walk since birth, but they could. But while being carried to the Temple gate where he sat to beg every day, he prayed for his miracle until it eventually came. And when it did, he did what we don’t hear many of the people inside the Temple doing: being full of joy, dancing and praising God. It was this reaction that got their attention. It doesn’t matter if we have eyes to see, ears to hear, mouth to talk and feet to walk, if we’re not willing to use them to see the need and meet the need of the people around us.