Begging Before Jesus
Set aside for a minute Peter and John’s arrest and their night in custody. Ignore the leaders’ and elders’ indignation and the bystanders’ wonder and amazement. Consider instead the beggar who was healed. Everyone recognized this man. He routinely begged for alms at the Beautiful Gate of the Temple. For his whole life, he was utterly dependent on other people to get around, to be fed, to be clothed and cared for. All he hoped for from Peter and John was a few coins, a little food, or a cast-off piece of clothing.
What this fellow received was not just a physical healing but a whole new life. No longer bound by his disability, he could move on his own. He was no longer powerless or weak, no longer unable to make his way in life. Delivered from hopelessness, he could now rise out of his poverty. Freedom, choices, relief from want and pain—he received so much more than he had asked for or, most likely, so much more than he had imagined he would ever experience.
The same is true for you! Because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, a whole new life is now open to you. You can be set free from handicaps of bitterness and resentment. The fears and anxieties and misgivings that preoccupy you don’t have to bind you or paralyze you anymore. You no longer have to feel powerless in the face of anger or addictions or lust. In the name of Jesus Christ, who was crucified, whom God raised from the dead, you can be healed!
Christ lives in you. His grace can empower you to resist temptation and be set free from anything that hampers you from feeling his Spirit. Call out to him, just as the beggar called out to Peter and John for alms. Believe that Jesus is standing right in front of you, offering you not silver and gold but the riches of love and joy, patience and self-control. Tell yourself that you belong to Christ and that he wants to set you free. Confess your insufficiency to him, and watch closely to see how he answers you. And then, just as the beggar did, praise him for his goodness to you!
“Jesus, in you alone am I saved. Help me to live a new life, unbound by my sins and weaknesses.”
Daily Reflection from The Word Among Us (www.wau.org)