READING: Nehemiah 8-9, Acts 3
“So they were filled with awe and astonishment at what had happened to him.”
The man had been lame from his birth. Every day, someone carried him to the Temple, where he begged for alms in order to survive. Apparently, he had been there so long that the people readily recognized him. I can imagine the people talking about him – “That’s the lame man. He’s been here such a long time”; “That poor man – he’s always here”; “Do we help him or not? He’s only going to be here tomorrow. . . .” Somebody probably even said, “I get tired of hearing him beg for stuff all the time.” Every day, the story was the same. Somebody brought him, he begged, and somebody transported him home.
Today, though, everything had changed. His legs worked. His ankles were strong. His feet and knees held him up. He no longer sat lamely; instead, he now danced around. In fact, he was “walking, leaping, and praising God” (Acts 3:8). Again, I can just imagine him shouting God’s praises as he did what he had never done – walk on his own! Now, he could also actually enter the Temple for the first time as well. So much had changed that the people who knew him as the lame man “were filled with awe and astonishment at what had happened to him” (Acts 3:10).
So, what had happened to him? Two fishermen disciples who had no money to offer him had something much greater to offer him: healing in the name of Jesus. “In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene,” Peter said to him, “get up and walk!” (Acts 3:6). Peter helped the man up, and nothing could hold him down at that point. Leaping and praising God were surely natural responses to the miraculous healing God had provided him – and awe and astonishment were proper responses from others who recognized the miracle.
We may not always see miracles as dramatically obvious as this one, but God still frees people from bondage, grants them freedom and healing, and welcomes them to worship Him without obstacles. He still saves lost people and makes them His children. He still cures wounded hearts and heals broken homes. He still turns miserable, defeated, lonely people into those who sing His praises.
And, it’s still right for us to be filled with awe and astonishment at what He does. Praise Him!
- Consider the last time you saw God transform a life. Praise Him today for that work.
- Watch today for hurting people around you. Offer them what really matters: Jesus.
PRAYER: “Jesus, it is in You I have life and freedom. I will leap and praise You all day long today.”
TOMORROW’S READING: Nehemiah 10-11, Acts 4:1-22