by Joey Davis
It was 3 p.m. when Peter and John saw him in the temple. He was withered and aged because of a birth defect, he had been to walk from the time of his birth. He wasn't a stranger. They had seen him many times before sitting in the entrance gate of the temple, the gate called Beautiful. ( Acts 3:2)
His occupation was dishonorable, yet necessary. You see, he had been relegated to begging in order to survive. Due to his instincts for survival, shame was no longer a factor. He was even willing to interrupt Peter's and John's spiritual endeavors in order to promote his own physical agenda, begging.
I wonder who else was familiar with the lame beggar. The Bible insinuates that he had begged at the temple for a long time. Had he seen Caiaphas? Was he on a first name basis with Joseph of Arimthea? Did he profit from Passover? Did the Sanhedrin him with empathy or disgust?
Most importantly, did he ever see Jesus? Was he at the gate during the mock trials and crucifixion of the Galilean carpenter? Did he ever overhear the teachings of the Son of Man? Had his ever met with the eyes that see and know the hearts and intentions of all men? Did he see Jesus?
I think so. ..Maybe..not in the flesh, or while sitting at the gate called Beautiful, but he saw Him. He saw Jesus in Peter and John, who were willing to be interrupted by the "town nobody." He saw Jesus in their concern for his spiritual need rather than his physical needs; for you see, in helping him to walk again, they gave him more than a physical blessing...they gave him his dignity in his ability to earn a living instead
of beg for one. Who else but the Master could bless in so many ways in such a short time. Trust me, the beggar saw Jesus!...
...How many of us are just like him? We've tried works only to find out that we need grace. We realize that we can't make it through life on our own steam, and we search the holy places for help. All of our myriads of friends, acquaintances, and even family cannot fill the spiritual void we so desperately feel.
So, we interrupt Jesus...and He's pleased we did! He quickly restores our dignity and self-worth by making us children of the King. He blesses us in ways that seem incredible, but to Him are commonplace. He even uses our brethren to encourage us in times of discouragement. No wonder they call Him the Savior!
All I know is that the beggar walked home for the first time. And because he saw Jesus, he was never the same...and neither are we!
September 3, 1995
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