Obervations from a First Miracle

This morning I went to Greeley for a radio interview on KFKA. I always enjoy these opportunities whenever they arise. I shared about my candidacy for City Council with morning host Gail Fallen.

BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY…. And he fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them. But Peter said, “I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!” And he took him by the right hand and raised him up, and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong. And leaping up, he stood and began to walk, and entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God.” Acts 3:5-8 ESV

The first miracle of Jesus in Mark is casting a demon out of a man with “an unclean spirit.” In Matthew, there is just a mention of Jesus, “teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people.”  In Luke the first person mentioned by name that was healed was Simon’s mother-in-law. In John the first miracle was “turning water in to wine” at the wedding in Cana of Galilee.

In Acts the first recorded miracle of healing is the lame man at the Temple gate. Much had happen in a short period of time. The disciples went from watching Jesus crucified to dealing with the news of the resurrection and then huddle together on the Day of Pentecost. They went from bewildered, to confused, to believing, to empowered.

This miracle is different from the personal encounters Jesus had with people. It seems they all demonstrated some degree to faith to be healed. In this situation, the man was just looking for a “hand out” and instead received a literal “hand up.”

Perhaps Peter was demonstrating a true “gift of faith” in Jesus ability to heal this man. The man looked to Peter for what he thought he needed, but Peter in turn provided him what he really did need. This is an important issue in many lives and on many fronts.

I was visiting today with Mike Walker, who directs Serve 6.8, a community outreach to those experiencing homelessness or poverty. In our conversation, we discussed how it is easy for those who have experienced “chronic” homelessness to view themselves as being the dependent upon others and always needing to be “care for.”

At times the healing of the body, also involves a “healing of the mind” or at least “mind-set.” Individuals need to know that in Christ they have value and purpose and a destiny. Even in the midst of need, they can have hope. Peter had the man change his gaze upward to them. In his anticipation, he did not receive what he anticipated, but what he needed.

finally in our lives, it is important to understand that the message of Christ and the power He gives to us, enables us to offer to others, more than they expected or believe that they need. We can view others from a lens of God’s care, dignity and hope.

Prayer for today…. Lord, thank You that You often give us what we need, even when we don’t realize what we need. We may be looking to the wrong source or seeking the wrong things to fulfill a need that only You can meet. Help us as well, to understand that through You we have the most important thing to offer to others, God’s love, dignity and life.