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Unlocking Miracles

Updated: May 4

Introduction


In Acts 3:1-10, we encounter a poignant narrative that not only showcases the miraculous power of faith but also illuminates the profound spiritual and implications of the power of prayer. This story occurs just after Pentecost, where Peter and John, filled with the Holy Spirit, continue their ministry in profound unity and purpose, no longer vying for personal greatness but united in their mission to nurture and build the Church. The story of Peter, John, and a man lame from birth, unfolds at a significant time and place, carrying deep symbolic and spiritual lessons for us.


The man in the narrative, crippled from birth, was carried daily to the temple gate to beg for alms. This was his routine, his means of survival, yet on this particular day, his life was about to change dramatically. Peter and John, as they approached the temple for prayer, represent dedicated followers of Christ, actively engaged in their Christian life and and prayer life. Their path crossing with the lame man was no coincidence but a divinely orchestrated opportunity for the demonstration of faith.


The Setting.


Our passage begins with Peter and John heading to the temple at the ninth hour, the hour of prayer. This was not just any time; the ninth hour, or 3 PM, was a sacred moment for the Jewish people, a time when the evening sacrifices were made and prayers were fervently offered to God. It was a special hour of divine engagement.


The Hour of Prayer: This designated time reminds us that setting specific moments for communion with God can lead to miraculous encounters. Let us be faithful in our designated times with God, expecting great things.


The Beautiful Gate: As they approached the temple, they did so through a gate called "Beautiful." Likely the Eastern gate, made of Corinthian bronze shining like gold, this gate was not only a physical entry into a place of worship but also a symbol of access to God's presence. It was here, at this intersection of beauty and brokenness, that the man lame from birth was placed daily, begging for alms but perhaps longing for something more transformative. It was a site where the marginalized, like the lame man, positioned themselves, hoping for mercy from those entering the temple.


Just as this gate was an entry to the temple, Jesus is our gate to the Father. The Beautiful gate, gleaming with the radiance of Corinthian bronze, mirrors the way Jesus illuminates our path to the Father. He is the way through which we enter God’s presence, shining brighter than even Corinthian bronze.


This gate also reminds us of the boundaries that exist within our communities, where many are kept at the margins, close to sacred spaces yet fundamentally outside them. Here, at this juncture of beauty and brokenness, they meet a man lame from birth, a vivid embodiment of our own spiritual incapacities and the transformative possibilities that faith in Christ can only bring.


Companionship in Faith: Peter and John's joint visit to the temple underscores the importance of fellowship and mutual support in our faith journey. Just as they went together, we are encouraged to find and be companions who bolster each other’s spiritual walk and commitment to worship God. Their collective faith and prayer set the stage for a miracle, showing the importance of numbers and community in our spiritual journey. This narrative invites us to forge bonds of faith that strengthen our worship and personal walk with God.


Peter's command to the lame man, "Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk" (Acts 3:6), is pivotal. This command is not merely an instruction but a powerful declaration of faith and authority in Jesus' name. It is a call to action that required an immediate response.

 

The miracle's unfolding highlights two critical aspects of spiritual life: obedience and faith. The lame man, upon hearing Peter’s command, was faced with a decision. The command to "arise and walk" demanded a response that would either confirm his faith or leave him in his current state. His response was one of obedience; he took their hands, and as he did, his feet and ankle bones received strength.


This response illustrates a vital spiritual principle: miracles often require a step of faith. The act of standing and walking was something the man had never done; it was an impossibility turned into a reality by his willingness to act upon the word given to him.


Seeing the Invisible


Among the crowd, the apostles' focus on the lame man teaches us the vital role of spiritual discernment. How often do we truly see the needs around us? Their example challenges us to look beyond the surface, recognizing and responding to the deep cries of those mired at the margins of society.


The Power of Presence


The apostles, transformed by the Holy Spirit, were no longer concerned with personal status but were driven by a selfless desire to serve and expand the church. Their example is a call for us to seek similar transformation, prioritizing collective spiritual growth over individual ambitions.


Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, offered not silver or gold but what he had—faith in Jesus Christ. "In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk," he commanded (Acts 3:6). The man's healing was immediate and complete, symbolizing the transformative power of God at the hour of prayer. This miracle was not just physical healing but a restoration to community thinking and spiritual life. The healing of the lame man also symbolizes inclusion.


Helping Hands: Peter and John extended literal and figurative hands to lift the man. We, too, are called to extend our hands to those in need, spiritually and physically, participating in God’s work on earth.


The lame man’s entry into the temple post-healing metaphorically speaks to the church’s mission to include all into the spiritual community, mirroring the kingdom of God where all barriers are broken, and every individual is welcomed and valued.


May this hour of prayer encourage us to look beyond the gates of our churches and communities to include all those lying at the peripheries, offering them the healing touch of Christ through our words and deeds. This act of inclusion is not just our duty but our privilege as followers of Christ, demonstrating that indeed, miraculous things can happen in the hour of prayer.

 

Leaping and Praising God


The reaction of the healed man is equally instructive. He walked, leaped, and praised God, entering the temple with joy. His response was not just physical but a total, spirited exultation in God's power. In this, we see a mirror to our own spiritual journey. We, too, were once lame—spiritually incapacitated by sin, sitting outside the temple gates of God’s presence. Like the man, we are invited not just to walk but to leap and praise, fully embracing the new life Christ offers.


From Ground to Glory: The man’s journey from the ground to leaping praises parallels our redemption story. We are raised from the fall of Adam, restored to life through Christ’s sacrifice.


Carry Someone to the Hour of Prayer


Let us consider who we are bringing to the hour of prayer. Are we, like Peter and John, companions on the journey, encouraging others toward faith and healing? In our worship, our community, and our personal walk with God, may we always be moved to act, to see, and to elevate those around us, bringing them into the presence of God where impossible things happen. Let us go forth, encouraged and empowered, to live out the lessons of the hour of prayer.


The Power in the name of Jesus


In the power of Jesus' name, we find the key to unlocking miracles. As Paul reminds us in Philippians 2:9-11, God has exalted Jesus and bestowed upon Him a name that transcends all others. At the mention of His name, every knee shall bow—across heaven, on earth, and beneath the earth—and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, glorifying God the Father.


This profound truth illustrates the unmatched authority and power vested in the name of Jesus. Just as using a name can grant access to restricted privileges in the earthly realm, invoking the name of Jesus grants us access to the divine power and authority of heaven. When commands are issued in the name of influential leaders like the President of the United States or the Prime Minister of Canada, obedience is expected because of the authority behind the name. Similarly, when we call upon the name of Jesus, we invoke the full weight of His divine authority.


This is not merely a theological assertion; it is a dynamic reality that empowers our faith and actions. The name of Jesus carries with it the promise of God’s presence and the assurance of His power. It is a name given to us to use boldly in prayer, worship, and the pursuit of God’s kingdom. What we possess in the name of Jesus—faith, prayer, and the living Word—becomes the tools through which we operate, impacting the world and drawing others into the recognition of His Lordship.


Therefore, as we step out in faith, let us do so in the name of Jesus, fully aware that we are backed by the highest authority. In His name, we are equipped to face challenges, overcome obstacles, and perform miracles that reflect the glory of God. Let this understanding transform how we live, how we pray, and how we serve, continually glorifying Jesus as Lord in our lives and in our world.


Conclusion 


Let us grasp the profound depth of what it means to call upon the name of Jesus. We are not merely speaking into the air; we are invoking a power that shaped the cosmos and holds the promise of eternity. In every challenge we face, let this be our foundation and our battle cry. We carry within us the promise of miracles, the hope of transformation, and the assured presence of God. Thus, let us step forward with boldness and faith, extending our hands, lifting our voices, and opening our hearts to the miraculous. May we live as conduits of His power, forever altering the landscapes of our lives and those around us through the mighty name of Jesus. Embrace this call, for in your hands lies the potential to unlock miracles, bringing the kingdom of heaven to Earth. Let us move forward, charged with divine purpose, proclaiming, "In the name of Jesus Christ, rise up and walk!" into every area of our lives.


May the peace of God dwell within you throughout this week. If you've been touched by today's message and wish to explore deeper faith, join us for Sunday services at AFM in Canada. Together, we can grow in love, strengthen our community, and uplift each other in our spiritual journeys. We look forward to welcoming you into our family. Blessings and grace be upon you.

 

Senior Pastor

Leo T Mukumba

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