Text: Acts 3:1-11
To be confident in the gift God has given you
To remember you are a minister in Christ’s name
For the broken in body
THERE IS SOME DISPUTE regarding which of the gates of the Temple was actually the “Beautiful Gate,” but the most likely candidate is the main gate which marked the boundary between the outer courts and the Temple proper. It was meant to inspire awe and wonder, for as you stepped through it you were stepping into the presence of God. The beautiful gate leads to the good and beautiful God.
It is a fitting location for this story.
Peter and John are shown as having taken up the ministry that Jesus charged them to do: in the power of the Holy Spirit, they give to the lame beggar an encounter with God that requires no journey through the gate. The God that is beautiful and good has drawn near to his people! We will see this fact emphasized again and again as we read through Acts. The overall story that Acts tells is captured well in this moment:
1) the Church continues Jesus’ prophetic ministry of proclamation and witness— the Kingdom of God has come near; Jesus is Lord; repent and believe in the Good News;
2) the Church continues Jesus’ healing ministry of restoration, renewal and release for those whose bodies or minds are held captive;
3) the Church continues Jesus’ teaching ministry, calling everyone to learn and walk in the Way of God, the Kingdom way of salvation, through baptism, study of the Word, fealty to the community, and prayer.
We will see in the next few days that just as Peter, John and the other members of the early Christian community continued Jesus’ ministry, so they also continued in conflict with authorities….
May your day be grace-filled ~ Pr. Dave Brooks