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Beautiful

  • Acts 3:2-5: Now a man who was lame 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.  When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money.  Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!” So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them.

    Acts 3:6-10: Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.”  Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong.  He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God.  When all the people saw him walking and praising God,  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.

    Can you imagine being forced day in and day out to sit in front of a gateway with the constant reminder of your lack? This man who was never able to walk a day in his life. He was probably picked on, called an invalid, called unlucky, or even crueler names. He was brought to the gate of Beautiful every day. In the Greek language, the word Beautiful here means literally: fair, beautiful, blooming. I mean is there really anything fair about being lame from birth? Here he is day in and day out planted. He is unable to do anything for himself except beg for money at a location devoted to judgment. What was his internal worth? What did he think about himself and how troubling must that existence be? Yet there is a deeper meaning to the word Beautiful in this context. The root of this word is from Horaios which means: an hour, the time of fulfillment,  properly, a particular hour (a "season" of time); (figuratively) beautiful in timing, therefore fruitful because fully developed. He just happened to be there when John and Peter come upon him. Expecting to get a few coins for his begging request, the man instead is healed by the power of the name of Jesus. Was this man who was seemingly forgotten and seemingly tormented being stuck in a less than fairly named location? Or was this the power of the deeper meaning of Beautiful and it was serendipitous that he was dropped off at that very location every day? There are no coincidences in this life and so I would like for us all to see this from our own perspective. 

    Think about how we perceive ourselves and think of this from the figurative. We daily go into the world where we are at the gate of Beautiful. We are daily crippled by our own perspective, our own shortcomings. We can be just at the entrance of freedom and yet daily we sit begging for the world to provide for us. Imagine if you put your stock in your looks. Many of us have. If you rely on Beauty, you become a beggar for validation, for the currency of beauty. If it is for food, the same. We beg for attention. The cry out for our currency is in the way we see ourselves. We were all born lame and cripple in some area of our lives. Being unable to walk and work for this man just happens to be the most evident to everyone. Many of us hide our deficiency. We can be tormented daily by how close we are to what we desire, but lack the ability or power to get it on our own. 

    And yet Jesus. Along comes John and Peter. They tell this man that he will not get money. Can you imagine the letdown this guy must have felt? Jesus doesn't cure symptoms, He cures the diseases! For many of us, we look at nothing larger than our symptoms. We are unable to imagine a life of freedom from our affliction. When Jesus comes in our lives, freedom comes. When that happens we all grow strong, and we can walk into any place of judgment jumping up and down praising God, just like this man who was lame and now whole. In the name of Jesus, walk!

    In the name of Jesus believe! In the name of Jesus live! You don't have to stare at Beautiful all day, you are Beautiful all day. Receive it today!


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