I noticed him straight away by the Beautiful Gate. It’s strange; I must have walked past him many times before, but as John and I approached the Temple, just in time for the afternoon prayer service, my attention was immediately drawn to the man.
He had been lame since birth, and he was over forty years old. Unable to earn a living any other way, his only hope was to beg for money from those visiting the Temple. I felt a pang of compassion as I saw him being carried there by friends and seated in his position by the gate.
“Please give me some money!”
As we got closer, he called out, his eyes lowered to the ground. Although he was not addressing his words particularly to us, and although we had no money, something made us stop, a prompting of the Holy Spirit. We had become familiar with the Holy Spirit’s work in recent days. On the day of Pentecost, God had filled us with His Spirit and empowered us as He promised He would. Where once we had been weak and fearful, now we were bold as we shared about Jesus, and miraculous signs and wonders were now regular occurrences.
I stood and gazed at the man, and my heart went out to him.
“Look at us,” I said. He raised his head eagerly, and I could see the hope in his eyes, the expectation that we were going to fulfil his request for money. But there was also something deeper, a glimmer of faith. Maybe the reason he sat outside the Temple each day wasn’t only because of the gathered crowds. Maybe his desperation had drawn him to the place of worship. I admired his hope and faith persisting after so many years.
I had no money, but I had something better to offer…
I’d love if you’d join me at Gracefully Truthful to keep reading. This post is part of a series from Peter’s perspective, reflecting on some of his encounters with Jesus and the Holy Spirit’s transforming power. Click here for the full post.