What’s Behind Your Gate?
The following is an excerpt from the Steadfast Love Bible study by Lauren Chandler.
We’re always drawing near to something, some kind of gate. The lame man in Acts 3 who “drew near” to the temple gate called Beautiful comes to mind.
The story goes that a man “lame from birth” was carried by some benevolent man every day to sit at the temple gate and beg for alms—money or food given to the poor. Every single day, he put himself at the mercy of people walking into the temple to worship.
One day, his drawing near to that gate produced more than he could have imagined. I’m sure a good day in his eyes was receiving enough alms to fall asleep that night with a full stomach. But the Lord had a better idea. The man called out to Peter and John, two of Jesus’ disciples, as they passed by. Upon seeing him, Peter told the man to look up at them. (Have you ever encountered someone begging for money or food? How often do you make eye contact? In my experience, it happens rarely. To look someone in the eye is to acknowledge their dignity as a human being—I love that Peter did that.)
The next words out of Peter’s mouth probably dashed the man’s hopes: “I have no silver and gold …” But he didn’t stop. “What I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!” (v. 6). Then Peter grabbed him by his right hand and raised him up. His feet and ankles immediately became strong and he leapt in praise of what God had done.
I can only speculate why that man was willing to be carried every day to the Beautiful Gate. My best guess is that there was not much else he could do. He couldn’t work. He couldn’t earn a living. His only other option was to waste away at home (whatever that may have looked like). Drawing near to the gate called Beautiful meant some kind of life. Little did he know how miraculous that life would turn out to be.
To continue in our pursuit of earthly wisdom is the quickest way to the gates of death. But there’s a better way. It’s a way that leads to life, if we would draw near.
Join us this summer on the Lifeway Women’s Blog for an online Bible study of Steadfast Love. Study begins June 14.