The text for this lesson is Acts 3:1–10
- The lame man praised and thanked God. We pray, praise, and give thanks to God for who He is and what He has done for us through His Son, Jesus.
- Law: Sin renders me helpless so that I look to myself or to the sinful world around me, to money or possessions, to make me whole instead of looking to God.
- Gospel: God heals my diseases and cleanses me from the sickness of sin for the sake of His Son, Jesus, who paid for all my sins on the cross. Renewed in spirit, I respond with praise and thanks for what God has done.
- Jesus has ascended into heaven. He departed, telling His disciples to wait in Jerusalem for the coming of the Holy Spirit. On Pentecost, the Spirit came, giving the disciples the ability to preach the Gospel with great ability and confidence. The Christian Church began to grow on account of this preaching. People were being baptized and gathering to hear the apostles’ teaching and to partake of the Lord’s Supper (Acts 2:42). Many were being saved.
The disciples had the custom of going to the temple at regular hours to pray. These outward customs for prayer did not end when Jesus died, rose, and ascended. In fact, many of the first Christian prayer disciplines came from Jewish practices. While learning of Jesus through the apostles, new believers still retained the practice of meeting and praying together (Acts 2:42-43). The Christian Church adopted specific days and times for prayer similar to Jewish tradition. They continued to use the Psalms to guide their prayers and even sang psalms and songs in the way they had learned them in the temple.
As Peter and John approached the temple for prayer, the lame man begging outside the Beautiful Gate asked them for alms (money), but they had none to give him. However, Peter’s compassion prompted him to work a miracle in the name of Jesus.
The Holy Spirit had filled the apostles with the ability to work miracles of healing. The Book of Acts attests to the apostles, and those with them, working “signs and wonders,” or what we would call miracles (2:43; 5:12; 6:8; 14:3; 15:12). This was a peculiar ability that the Holy Spirit gave to the apostles. On this occasion, Peter and John gave the man something more precious than silver or gold. In the name of Jesus of Nazareth, they commanded the man to stand up and walk. Then they took him by the hand and he stood, being healed.
The beggar wanted a little money to help him live but ended up with much more than he asked for, receiving bodily healing instead. The man knew that he had been healed by a supernatural action and rightly attributed it to the Lord working through Peter and John. After being healed, he went with them into the temple to praise God. This was a wonderful testimony for those around him that the Lord had healed him.
Luther’s meaning to the Second Commandment tells us not only how to keep from misusing God’s name but also how to use it rightly. God wants to be called upon when we or our neighbors are in need. He also wants us to praise and give thanks to Him for blessings that He has given us. This is not because God is in need of our praise and thanks. He lacks nothing. We do not add to God with our praise. However, in a way only our Lord could know, we are blessed again by our praise and thanks. It changes us. Our praise increases our faith in God, who gives all good things.