S (Scripture): Acts 3:3 When [the lame man] saw Peter and John about to go into the temple courts, he asked them for money. 4 Peter looked directly at him (as did John) and said, “Look at us!” 5 So the lame man paid attention to them, expecting to receive something from them. 6 But Peter said, “I have no silver or gold, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, stand up and walk!” 7 Then Peter took hold of him by the right hand and raised him up, and at once the man’s feet and ankles were made strong. 8 He jumped up, stood and began walking around, and he entered the temple courts with them, walking and leaping and praising God.
O (Observation): Peter and John encounter a man who cannot walk. This man was like this from birth. Everyday he begged for alms near the temple. Peter and John encounter him at a time when they sense that God truly is working in them and through them.
Instead of giving the lame man some money, they choose to heal him. And to do this, they call upon the name of the Lord. Now, this is not just some incantation or summoning of Jesus to be in that place in that time. Rather, Peter and John are called upon to do this mighty act in the name of Jesus. Jesus is doing the healing, but through Peter and John.
Here is what my commentary suggests:
Note the authority in the name of Jesus the Messiah. His presence and power are at work for the man. The reference to “the name” is not like a magical incantation, but is designed to indicate the agent who performs the healing. The theme is quite frequent in Acts.
A (Application): What difference can I make? Who will listen to me? None, and no one, might be the answers to these questions you ask.
But when we act and speak in the name of Jesus, things happen, and hearts are moved.
I’ve seen it happen. And it’s not just because of some grand, eloquent speaker or miracle worker.
When someone does a work in the name of Jesus, Jesus promises to be present and to work with a power that can transform. I’ve seen this at youth gatherings, on Sunday mornings, in small group sessions, at youth group time, and even in bars. We can all be changed and we can all be agents of change…done so through the power and presence of Jesus Christ working in us and through us.
P (Prayer): Not everyone knows they can be agents of healing and change. Today, Lord, help others to see your power at work in them and through them. Amen.