(A brief fictional account of the life of the lame man who begged at the temple in Jerusalem depicted in the Bible, Acts 3.)
Our household was busy with a lot of people crowded into a small place. At first, I was carried about like any infant. Instead of learning to crawl and then walk, I dragged my legs behind me as I pulled myself along. I was declared lame, with no strength in my feet to stand or walk.
To contribute to the family, I begged on the street corners. The temple soon became my spot both for convenience of getting there and for crowds that passed by.
I remember a stir around the temple when I was a young boy. Two elders who frequented the temple spoke to a couple that brought their newborn to offer sacrifices. Simeon said the baby was “salvation” and Anna spoke of him as “redemption.” Strange stories of a star appearing and angels singing in Bethlehem at his birth were circulated for a time. It was said angels directed the couple to name their baby Jesus.
Several decades went by before I heard more about Jesus of Nazareth. Because of my proximity to the temple, I heard or saw first hand what happened there.
A young man born blind was made to see! I knew him because our conditions brought us together. The method of the miracle was strange but the results amazing. He washed mud from his eyes in the pool of Siloam and was able to see. The authorities questioned him and his parents thoroughly. He adamantly answered, “One thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see.”
I remember some men pulling a young lady with them as they approached the temple. They interrupted Jesus teaching as they accused her of adultery. They spoke of stoning her but wanted to know what Jesus had to say. He said nothing, only stooped down to write on the ground. When they continued questioning, Jesus finally spoke, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” The crowd thinned out quickly and quietly. Jesus looked up from his writing on the ground and told the woman he didn’t condemn her. He said, “Go and sin no more.”
Many other miracles were reported, both in Jerusalem and throughout Judea. In particular, a man in the same lame condition as I, for about as long, was healed at the pool of Bethesda. He too was told, “Sin no more.”
I hoped for an encounter with Jesus, the miracle worker. I dreamed of being able to walk and work like other men, but it didn’t happen.
What did happen was Jesus was arrested, given a hasty trial, and then crucified. Frightening things accompanied this event. The sky darkened, the earth shook, and priests exclaimed that the temple veil was torn. I didn’t get many coins that day as frightened people hurried by.
Three days later the city was stirred by reports of resurrection. The tomb was empty! Jesus was seen alive! These reports continued for the next 40 days.
Large crowds gathered in Jerusalem for the Feast of Pentecost. I heard of 120 believers who prayed and waited as Jesus had instructed them. Suddenly, they were all “filled with the Holy Ghost” and spoke with other tongues. A crowd quickly assembled, until over 3,000 joined in. They were baptized in the name of Jesus Christ and received the gift of the Spirit.
Some time later, I saw two disciples walking to the temple for prayer. They passed close by and I looked expectantly. Peter said, “Silver and gold have I none.” He continued, “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.” He took my hand, lifting me up.
Strength surged through my feet and ankles as I stood. I took steps for the first time! I began to leap and praise God. I was healed! I walked with Peter and John, continually praising God.
News of my healing spread. Many more became believers. Surprising opposition arose but they couldn’t deny that “a notable miracle” had been done.
My life has spanned more than 40 years. With my legs healed I am more productive with new life. Spiritual life through the name of Jesus and his Spirit is powerful and life changing. I desire to see more and greater things happen in the name of Jesus Christ.
Mitch Glover is pastor of the Sterling Pentecostal Church located on Swanson River Road and Entrada. Services on Sunday include Bible classes for all ages at 10:00 a.m. and worship at 11:00 a.m. Thursday Bible study is at 7:00 p.m. (sterlingpentecostalchurch.com)