The Gifts Part 20
In realizing how many things we need to be healed of, one also realizes the need for the plurality of the gifts of healings. The gifts of healings are a plural gift, because as individuals we need healing for more than one thing. Some need spiritual healing, while others are in need of inner healing, while others still are in need of physical healing, and some within the household of faith are even in need of healing from demonic oppression and influence.
By far the most often seen among the gifts of healings within the congregation of God, is the gift of physical healing. I say it is most often seen, because it is a visible gift, unlike spiritual healing or inner healing which one realizes has occurred only when the person in question testifies of their being healed. It is impacting and awe inspiring to see the gift of physical healing with one’s own eyes, to see the broken made whole again, to see the hurting be restored and to see the afflicted receive respite from their pain.
Although we could readily discuss any of Christ’s many physical healings while He walked the earth, I want to highlight the healing of a man who was not healed by the hands of Christ, but rather by the laying on of hands of Peter and John. Formidable as these two men might have been at fishing, since both of them were career fishermen before they encountered Christ, we realize and vividly so that what transpired between them and the lame man and his subsequent healing was undeniably the power of the Holy Spirit, and the manifestation of the gifts of healings. What makes this particular event stand out to me is that chronologically speaking it happened shortly after the advent of the Holy Spirit and the pouring out of the gifts. The apostles of Christ wasted no time in manifesting the gifts they’d been given of God, and they walked in the authority of the knowledge that they indeed had received from the hand of God something that was beyond the ability of man.
I realize this series has gone on longer than I had first envisioned, but I would be remiss if we didn’t spend a little time and discuss the aforementioned encounter between Peter, John, and the lame man by the Beautiful gate, just to see the beauty of what God can do through faithful servants, as well as the reaction of those who had known the broken man that had been made whole again.
Acts 3:1, “Now Peter and John went up together to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour.”
Ever since they had been called to be apostles of Christ, Peter and John seem to be together allot, and spend a considerable amount of time with each other as co-laborers in the harvest field of souls. Even though they had known each other before they were called by Jesus, seeing as John and James his brother were partners with Simon Peter in their fishing venture, it is interesting to see the continuity and growth of their friendship after they began to follow after Christ.
Whenever we are called into ministry it is inevitable that we form bonds and friendships with fellow laborers in the harvest field, it is inevitable that you get to know other servants of the cross, and that you spend time together.
As we peruse the word of God, we find Peter and John fishing together, we find them together on the mountain of transfiguration, during the preparation for Passover, at the grave of Jesus, on the Sea of Galilee after the resurrection of Christ, and now we find them going up to the temple together at the hour of prayer.
Acts 3:2-3, “And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms form those who entered the temple, who, seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked for alms.”
Though times may have changed, human nature has remained stubbornly level, and today, just as it was in the days of old, those who ask for alms gather by houses of worship knowing that those who go to worship, those who come to the house of God are more likely to give, are more likely to be charitable, and are more likely to extend a helping hand. Although this is uncommon in America, it is widespread and ever present throughout the European region.
The man in question was lame from his mother’s womb. He had never known the joy of walking through fresh cut grass, he had never known the joy of fending for himself, and every day someone carried him and laid him down at the gate of the temple to ask for alms from those passing by and those who were going in to worship.
His entire life this is all this man knew. For forty years someone would carry him every day, lay him down, and come back for him at a later time to collect him and most likely the money that he had been given throughout the day. His life was the very definition of monotony, something that he most likely took no pleasure in, or derived any joy from. This is in essence every man absent of God: spiritually lame, unable to do anything but occupy space.
For the lame man it was just another day in a long line of days, and as he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple, he did what came to him reflexively by now, something that he didn’t even have to think about, he extended his hand and asked for alms.
Many times we don’t know who is passing by us. The saints of God are no different than anyone else when you see them passing you on the street, but if you get a chance to talk to them, to observe them for more than an instant you begin to realize there is something different about them, and there is a noticeable difference between them, and all the others walking by.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.