Acts 3 Healing in the Name of Jesus
I am taking a look at healing in this famous passage in Acts 3.
1One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon. 2Now 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. 3When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. 4Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!” 5So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them.
6Then 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.” 7Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. 8He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. 9When all the people saw him walking and praising God, 10they 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.
Peter Speaks to the Onlookers
11While the man held on to Peter and John, all the people were astonished and came running to them in the place called Solomon’s Colonnade. 12When Peter saw this, he said to them: “Fellow Israelites, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? 13The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus. You handed him over to be killed, and you disowned him before Pilate, though he had decided to let him go. 14You disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you. 15You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this. 16By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has completely healed him, as you can all see.
17“Now, fellow Israelites, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did your leaders. 18But this is how God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, saying that his Messiah would suffer. 19Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,
I am going to take a punt here, and say that every one of us needs healing – it might be a physical healing that we need from God, but it might just as well be emotional, spiritual or mental. God is interested in our whole being – spirit, soul and body. Our physical ailments can cause us to be sick in our soul. I know when I feel poorly, I also feel quite down and grumpy. In fact just yesterday I had stomach ache all day, and I felt terrible in myself – I couldn’t raise a smile. The 3 parts of us work together and affect all the other parts.
Every one of us has had things happen to us that cause us emotional pain and upset. It’s important to deal with it and receive healing from God. I know that God can do amazing miraculous things in our mind and hearts that could take a psychologist years to work through. God can do it in an instant. Now of course, if you are reading this today in 100% health spirit, soul, body, then that’s fantastic! Bank the knowledge for another day.
So let’s look at the passage:
When Peter and John came by this is what happened:
Whatever our circumstances, however we find ourselves, Jesus is there.
He looks directly at us and asks us to look at Him.
It is far too easy to look at our situation, to look at our problems, to look down. Jesus says, look up. Look at my face.
That is the first step to receiving our healing.
The man gave them his attention, expectant. He looked up and expected something to be given to him.
Are you expectant today? Do you expect something from God?
That is the second step.
Expecting that God can heal us and that God wants to heal us. When we look at the face of Jesus, all the other things going on fade into insignificance. We can only focus our eyes at one thing. It’s like taking a photograph. The main part of our photograph is in focus and the rest behind is blurred. When we look full in the face of Jesus, all the other things blur and become fuzzy, because he is our main focus. Our problems don’t disappear, but they are put in perspective. He can pour hope in our hearts, that things can be different, that he can do something for us that we can’t get anywhere else.
It is all too easy to allow our self-talk to tell us that God won’t be bothered with me, other people receive from God, but I’m not special enough, I’m not significant enough.
You are! Look at Jesus full in the face, and see his love for you. You are the apple of his eye! You are his favourite!
He rejoices over you with singing.
3. The man asked Peter and John for money. But they gave him something else.
Instead of providing for his instant needs, i.e. money to buy food and live on, they gave him so much more. They gave him health and wholeness, and the ability to make money for himself.
We often come to God with our shopping list of needs, and sometimes God answers our prayers exactly as we ask. But sometimes, he says, do you know what? I know better than you what you need. You think you need x, but I know you actually need y. We might think we need physically healing right now, but he knows that actually we need rest, or we need spiritual refreshment, or we need to learn humility and to be able to allow others to help us.
Hebrews 1: 39 These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, 40 since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.
4. 7Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong.
The next step in our healing is to allow others to help us up. Hopefully you are part of a church that provides a strong and loving community, true friends that love each other. We are the body of Christ, that means we are the hands, feet and voice of Jesus. He puts people in our lives to help and support, but if the person on the receiving end doesn’t let us help them, then we can’t do anything.
That works the other way too. Quite often in answer to our prayers, God gives us a person or people to help us. If we don’t let them help us, either out of stubbornness or pride, then we rob them of being able to do their job.
This is a 2 pronged response. We need to be obedient to God when we prompts us to help, support, encourage and give to the people in our lives.
And secondly we need to accept the help, support, encouragement and gifts given to us.
It is more blessed to give than to receive. But if we don’t receive when it’s given, the other person doesn’t get their blessing! If we don’t all work together as a body, then the body fails.
5. 8He jumped to his feet and began to walk
The next step is to be obedient.
If the man had said no to Peter and John, then that would have been the end of it. His feet and ankles became strong when he stood. That took a lot of courage. It probably took a lot of courage for Peter and John to tell him to stand.
There is a response required from us. An action. A verb.
What is God telling us to do right now? And are we doing it?
It might be to go somewhere, to give something, to give something up, to say something to someone, to give our time to someone, or even to keep quiet and not say something!
What is God asking you to do in faith, and are you doing it?
6. The next step is Praise!
Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. 9When all the people saw him walking and praising God,
When we receive our healing, or we believe that God has answered our prayers, or we are waiting for our prayers to be answered, we praise God. Praise releases something in us and does something in the spirit. It is a fitting response to our heavenly father.
Praise is a powerful weapon.
7. 12When Peter saw this, he said to them: “Fellow Israelites, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? 13The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus. You handed him over to be killed, and you disowned him before Pilate, though he had decided to let him go. 14You disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you. 15You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this.
Our next step is testimony.
We defeat the enemy by the blood of the lamb and by the word of our testimony.
When God answers our prayers and brings healing in whatever form, we have an opportunity to tell people about our miracle-working God and the difference Jesus makes in our lives. Here Peter not only gives glory to God, but he also gives a mini gospel presentation. Are we taking time to tell our friends and family about Jesus in a relevant and loving way?
We can fall guilty of moaning and complaining very publicly about our problems and the things we are going through, but when God answers our prayers, are we as quick to go back to those same people we moaned to and tell them about the way God has solved our problems or healed us?
8. 16By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has completely healed him, as you can all see.
Now what is interesting, is that in this passage, it isn’t the faith that the man had that made him well, because he didn’t have a clue who Peter and John were, let alone who Jesus was. It was the faith that Peter and John had when they prayed that made him well.
The dictionary says Faith is: complete trust or confidence in someone or something.
Do we have complete trust and confidence in God?
Hebrews 11 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. …
Fear is the opposite of faith. Fear steals our faith. It erodes it. It weakens it.
Fear is an all-consuming emotion that lies to us about reality. When we have faith we have confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
When we are in fear, it is almost as if we have confidence that what we fear is going to happen, even though we have no idea if it actually will.
Faith is God’s currency. Fear is Satans currency. Remember that he comes to kill, steal and destroy. He isn’t our friend. Even if we sold our soul to satan, he wouldn’t love us. He hates us. So he sows fear in our hearts to counteract the faith.
How do we make sure our faith grows and fear doesn’t?
It’s like having 2 dogs – a good one and an evil one. The one that grows is the one we feed. So we need to feed our faith and not feed our fear. We need to tell fear to get lost.
Matthew 17:20 He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
We only need the tiniest amount of faith to be able to do amazing things, so let’s feed that faith and see it grow!
And now to the last verse:
Romans 10:17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ
Peter gave the message about Jesus, so that the crowd could hear and had the opportunity to respond.
It is so important that we preach the gospel and that we a: hear about Jesus ourselves, and b: that the people we meet hear about Jesus too. It is good news! Why would we keep it to ourselves?
There is power in the name of Jesus and if there is ever a time we needed the powerful name of Jesus, it is now!
And what happens when we’ve heard the good news? Yet again, a response is required.
19Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,
Make today the day we repent, turn from the things that are stopping us from moving forward in our faith, turn away from the things that are slowing us down or holding us back.
I don’t know about you, but I want to receive times of refreshing from the Lord. That sounds lovely! I need that refreshing, whether I am well or poorly, happy or sad. The refreshing that comes from the Lord is so precious. Yes please!