Raised him up


One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer-- at three in the afternoon. 2 Now a man crippled from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. 3 When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. 4 Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, "Look at us!" 5 So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them. 6 Then Peter said, "Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk." 7 Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man's feet and ankles became strong. 8 He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. 9 When all the people saw him walking and praising God, 10 they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him. (Acts 3:1-10)

Bishop John Chrysostom, preaching only a few centuries after Christ, couldn’t help but see the resurrected Lord Jesus in this miracle account.  When Acts reports that Peter “took him by the right hand and raised him up,” Chrysostom recalls Jesus: “Such was also the way of Christ.”  But it was not just a matter of similar style for Peter and Jesus.  Chrysostom focused on that expression “raised him up” and called this miracle an image of Christ’s resurrection.

Accomplished in the name of the risen Christ, this healing took place subsequent to His victory over death.  Jesus didn’t rise as a ghost so that our spirits could live forever.  God raised His Son bodily from the dead and has promised to give us resurrected bodies like His. Peter “raised up” this lame man, and although the time had not yet come for the man to receive a glorified body, this beggar became one of those who had crossed over from death to life, who would live even though he died.  He would be one of those whom the Bible promises, “Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection.  The second death has no power over them” (Revelation 20:6).

Peter didn’t have silver or gold to give the beggar, but after the final resurrection precious metals will have no more value than Confederate dollars do today.  Peter raised up the beggar, and in so doing he gave this man more than physical healing.  He had the fruits of the resurrection.

The beggar’s first steps took him into God’s house!  “Of course,” we Christians think, “he wanted to

thank God.”  There is no “of course” about the direction the beggar walked.  Plenty of people who can walk fail to walk into God’s house. The name of Jesus did more than waken the power in this man’s feet.  The name of Jesus kindled love and gratitude and faith.  This beggar got far more than silver or gold or the ability to walk!  He was raised from being dead in sin, to a new life.

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