Acts 3: His Name
In Acts 3, Peter and John came upon a beggar who sat in close proximity to the temple at a gate called “Beautiful.” Everyone knew the beggar at the Beautiful Gate because he had begged there for many years. This man sat only feet away from what should have been a house of healing unable to enter because in this temple, the sick and broken were unwelcome. This man watched for years as healthy temple-goers walked inside to worship and pray. The title “Beautiful” ironically describes this scene for what happened there was not beautiful at all. Where do you see yourself in this story? Perhaps you identify with the beggar, not physically disabled but spiritually and emotionally broken. You’ve been stuck in the same place for weeks, months or maybe years. Others call your situation normal, reinforcing your cynicism. You know deep down that definitive change is needed, but from where? Or, perhaps you identify with those walking by the beggar. You know something should be done, but what? What can just one person do? What can one church do?
No matter where you find yourself in the story, know that hope is found in the Name of Jesus. Through Him healing happens, religion evaporates, communities transform and lives completely change. Through Him what is broken is made whole; what is ugly is made truly beautiful.
1. What does this passage teach us about God? How does it apply to you?
2. Are there any bad habits in your life that you have accepted as normal? What are they?
3. We see in verse 11 that the beggar held on to Peter and John as they stood by him. Who are some people in your life that you can hold on to in times of need, friends that will help you stand?