September 20 | Bible in a Year: Ecclesiastes 1-3; 2 Corinthians 11:16-33
By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong.
READ ACTS 3:2–8, 16
Author Mark Twain suggested that whatever we look at in life—and how we see it—can influence our next steps, even our destiny. As Twain said, “You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.”
Peter too spoke of vision when he replied to a lame beggar, a man whom he and John encountered at the busy temple gate called Beautiful (Acts 3:2). As the man asked them for money, Peter and John looked directly at the man. “Then Peter said, ‘Look at us!’ ” (v. 4).
Why did he say that? As Christ’s ambassador, Peter likely wanted the beggar to stop looking at his own limitations—yes, even to stop looking at his need for money. As he looked at the apostles, he would see the reality of having faith in God.
As Peter told him, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk” (v. 6). Then Peter “helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. He jumped to his feet and began to walk” and give praise (vv. 7-8).
What happened? The man had faith in God (v. 16). As evangelist Charles Spurgeon urged, “Keep your eye simply on Him.” When we do, we don’t see obstacles. We see God, the One who makes our way clear.
By Patricia Raybon
REFLECT & PRAY
Heavenly Father, when my eyes wander from You, focus my gaze on Your unlimited power.
What are you focused on instead of God? With refocused faith, what could you see in Him for your life?
The word faith or one of its variants (faithful, faithfulness) appears in the New International Version 458 times in the Old and New Testaments. Faith is described as what is necessary to believe in and please God. It’s the underlying factor behind what some of the most well-known characters in the Bible were able to do (see Hebrews 11).
Today’s passage credits the healing of the lame man to faith in Jesus (Acts 3:16). But whose faith? Was it the healed man who believed in Jesus and had faith? Possibly, for it did require some faith to stand up when Peter took his hand. But it more likely refers to the faith of Peter. The pronouncement of healing and the confidence to take the lame man’s hand demonstrate that Peter, the healer, had faith in the power of Jesus’ name—the Messiah—to perform the miracle. J.R. Hudberg