A Fear of Whales

2_2_PeterHealingCrippleIn Part 1 I talked about The healing of the beggar in Acts 3 and the three parts to peters approach, Focusing on the first part: Eye contact. Paying attention.

In Part 2 I identified the second part, as a willingness to give away everything rather than what it seems at first: an excuse to give away nothing. Peter said "Silver and Gold have I none, but what I have I give unto you". You on the other hand (if we are honest) would have to say "Silver and Gold I have, but I have nothing to give you"

And now here’s part 3: The part we usually want to talk about. Let’s read the passage one more time for context:

One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, at three o’clock in the afternoon. And a man lame from birth was being carried in. People would lay him daily at the gate of the temple called the Beautiful Gate so that he could ask for alms from those entering the temple. When he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked them for alms. Peter looked intently at him, as did John, and said, ‘Look at us.’ And he fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them. But Peter said, ‘I have no silver nor gold, but what I have I give you; in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, stand up and walk.’ And he took him by the right hand and raised him up; and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong. Jumping up, he stood and began to walk, and he entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God.  All the people saw him walking and praising God, and they recognized him as the one who used to sit and ask for alms at the Beautiful Gate of the temple; and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.

Part 3 is to miraculously hear them.

Then bring everyone to Jesus when they see the miracle. (that happens in the next Chapter)

Am I the only one who is not totally cool with this?6a00d8341bffd953ef01157089ad79970b-800wi

”And your Bible study application for this week is, go do a miracle, let’s close in prayer”

I mean, I know there are other faith traditions that place higher emphasis on the work of the holy spirit but this just seems a little over the top to me. This does not describe my daily life of ministry at all!

I’ve talked to people who have had more of these experiences than I. But I can’t help but wonder about coincidence and verifiability. Why has nobody gotten real good video of this stuff? Cameras are everywhere now. Those people we have caught on tape like Popoff and Hinn, have been shown to be frauds when under scrutiny.

Maybe my skepticism is faithlessness, and that’s why god hasn’t blessed me with the gift. But I have another theory.

I think my faithlessness is faithlessness, and so is everybody else’s

I think there is an order of magnitude of exponential growth between the amount of spiritual maturity it takes to say to a beggar “look at me” and the amount it takes to say “what I have I give to you” let’s say it’s 100x. I suspect that’s the same order of magnitude between the ability to say “what I have I give to you” and “stand up and walk” 100x100x.

And that’s the reason we don’t see miracles every day, and what we do see are the non-verifiable kind such as “god gave me hope” or “God hastened my recovery, it took less time than it would have” we just don’t have the kind of faith Peter had. None of us. Some of us will respond by saying the miracles are happening “over there somewhere” (perhaps in Africa) others will try to say miracles have ceased, or that the passage means something other than what it does. Perhaps Peter isn’t an example to follow at all and this is a unique miracle for a unique moment in history.

All of that might be true, but you know me, I have to chime in with the minority report. Maybe it means exactly what it looks like, and we are just not awesome enough to handle it.

Lord, make me awesome enough to handle it.

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