Stories, thoughts and reflections on the Bible from the WSFC Staff.
This week our WSFC Hello Friends is brought you by our Adult Discipleship Pastor, Penne Ryan. Penne has a heart for helping people discover their gifts, teaching the Word and walking people through a deepening relationship with God. Take a journey into a story about healing full of discouragement, faith and hope. ~ John
I was praying with someone for healing, and felt no faith emanating.
“You’re discouraged, aren’t you,” I asked. “Yes,” the person said. ”I’ve had people pray for my healing before and it’s never worked.”
So I asked if they remembered the story of the crippled man healed when Peter and John came into the Temple and they said, “Oh yes! They prayed and the man was healed totally and instantly!”
“But have you thought about the rest of the story?” I asked.
The crippled man who was healed by the prayer of Peter and John, the Bible says, was sitting at the Gate Beautiful.
Apparently the beggars themselves voted on who got the spot. Only the most pathetic beggar was stationed at the Gate Beautiful. It was the best begging place on the Temple Mount because so many people entered there. It was kind of like winning the lottery to get that begging spot.
The Bible tells us something about that particular Gate. It says that the Prince will enter there.
And we also know that Jesus Christ always entered by that Gate.
Since we know that Jesus went to the Temple often, He must have passed by that guy many times. In between His visits, people always talk, and the crippled man must have overheard lots of stories of how Jesus healed everyone! “Lepers! Cripples! Lame, blind and deaf, He healed them all! Oh it was glorious! And Jesus was no respecter of persons,” they said.
I imagine the man wanted to be healed. He was the most pathetic beggar in town. Everyone knew about him – but Jesus never healed Him. For three and a half years, Jesus just walked on by.
I imagine the man was discouraged. He probably saw some of those very people Jesus healed. He saw the lame who could suddenly walk, heard some of the dumb who could talk and spoke with the deaf who could hear for the first time.
But Jesus never healed him.
“What do you think?” I asked. “Didn’t Jesus care? Didn’t He hear the man’s request?” “I suppose He did,” the person responded.
I think that every time Jesus passed by He asked the Father for the man’s healing and the Father said, “Not today.” And one day Jesus walked into the Temple and asked again and the Father said, “This miracle is not for You to do. I am training Your disciples to have the faith to believe I can do a healing through them. Pray for the disciples and for the man and pray for his healing.” And every time Jesus passed the crippled man, He probably had a twinkle in His eye, because He knew the healing was coming!
One day there was a terrible commotion in town! What was going on? Where was everyone! What’s all the noise? Why is it suddenly dark? What do you mean the curtain has been torn in two, top to bottom? Then silence.
The lame man heard that Jesus had been executed!
His last hope murdered!
I wonder if he despaired of ever being healed.
But then, about a year later, the day came when Peter and John passed by. In other instances it says that the Apostles saw that the people had faith to believe, but it doesn’t indicate that with this beggar. The Greek indicates the lame man expected what he had asked for: alms. Cash. Nothing more.
Instead, on this day (although it had never happened before) the man received His healing. The Bible says he went jumping and leaping into the Temple to give thanks to God.
So I said to the person, “You have not received your healing previously and you did not receive it this instant. But that doesn’t mean it’s not on the way. We have prayed and you did receive the seed of your healing. Your job is to water it with the Word of God. You should speak it out: ‘By His stripes I was healed.’ ‘ or, “The Son of Righteousness shall rise with healing in His wings.’
or any other Scripture the Lord puts on your heart.
“And your job is to remember the real truth about the lame man: during the many times Jesus passed by, he had already received his healing. The manifestation just wasn’t on that day. But it was coming all along.”