“By faith in the name of Jesus, this man . . . was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has completely healed him, as you can all see.” — Acts 3:16
When Peter healed the lame man who had been begging, people noticed and stopped what they were doing so that they could see what was going on. And why not? They recognized him as the man who was lame from birth and who had always lain on a mat, begging, but now he was “jumping, and praising God”! (See Acts 3:1-10.)
When a crowd gathers in amazement for a healing like that, Peter knows what to do. He knows that the healing of one person can lead to the repentance and healing of many others, so he steps up to preach.
In words that parallel his Pentecost sermon (Acts 2:14-39), Peter urges his listeners to repent of their sin and believe in Jesus Christ. The crowd may be amazed by what happened to one lame person, but Peter sees a greater purpose. This healing is not meant to bring praise for the lame person or the apostles. It is to lead people to look beyond the healed person to Jesus Christ, in whose name the healing has occurred.
We often see and meet people who do things for others in order to draw attention to themselves. But if we really want to live as the body of Christ, we need to help people come to know Jesus.
Dear God, may we repent of focusing on anything that does not help us see Jesus in our lives, the lives of others, and the world around us all. Thank you for your forgiveness, healing, and love. Amen.