The title of this sermon is: Something Beautiful
The concept or perception of what is or what is not beautiful changes from person to person. In fact I will go so far as to say that our definition of beautiful is probably not close to God’s definition of beautiful.
vs. 1 Peter and John kept their Jewish rituals. They were missionaries to their own people. Jewish tradition requires one to pray three times a day and four times on the Sabbath. Peter and John knew their context and were not afraid to share about Jesus with the people in their city.
vs. 2 The Beautiful Gate was made of Corinthian brass and plated in gold and silver. We do not know the reason behind the man’s disability. We do not know if he is crippled or paralyzed. We do know that the man is a beggar. The man’s routine was normal to him. Going to sit at the temple had been a part of his life for so long that he never expected his circumstances to change.
vs. 3-5 The man expected Peter and John to give him money or something else. Peter had other ideas.
vs. 6 To heal in the name of Jesus was to invoke his power and presence.
The man’s system is broken. He has sought security and sustenance from only people generous to give him money. He must have felt worthless. He is a beggar. He cannot have a job because he is not able to use his legs. He cannot contribute to the community. He is not successful. By society’s standards he is not much of a man.
There is consistency in Peter and John’s lives. Who they are on Sunday translates into the rest of the week.
Peter and John had just left one of the greatest moves of the Holy Spirit and they were headed to the Temple. A lot of other people were on the way to the Temple too. What made Peter and John different?
*Thomas Aquinas visited the Pope in Rome. The Pope took the priest to the church’s treasure vault. The Pope said, “No longer can the church say silver and gold have I none.” Aquinas said, “True, nor can the church say to the lame man, rise up and walk.”
The church in America has far too long put their faith in money. They would rather send money instead of missionaries. They build multi-million dollar buildings and look beautiful with their stained glass windows while all the while people in the community are hungry and need shelter.
Churches have more stuff than ever before: lights, sound systems, ac, music, and all kinds of state-of-the-art equipment.
And the pews are filled with people who can’t teach, who don’t know how to study the Bible, who don’t pray, don’t serve, and don’t share the gospel. These people were not discipled and were never equipped to do the work of the ministry.
It is time that the church stops trusting in the dollar and starts fully trusting in God. If God built the church, God will grow and sustain HIS church.
The church needs to learn by the example of Peter and John what God always intended the church to be. The church needs to reach out to the lost, broken, sick, hurting, discouraged…and show them Jesus.
When a church is obedient to God’s Word, God can use the church to accomplish his purposes.
vs. 8-11 The man leaped for joy. The church needs more joy. The church needs to stop coming to service looking sad, disgusted, miserable and be expectant of what God is going to show them through the service. They need to come to church in awe of a holy, righteous, majestic Creator of the Universe.
When the church becomes the church as God intended it, it will be clearly evident that God is doing awesome things with that church and that is truly…