But Peter said, "I do not possess silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene – walk! - Vs 6
"But what I do have I give to you."
What do you have to give today? What is in your possession that the world around you desperately needs? Do you have anything worth having, anything that could truly transform another person's life?
Peter did. When he and John arrived at the entrance to the Temple courtyard that day to pray, they encountered a familiar sight: A lame man begging for alms. This guy was a regular fixture at the Gate Beautiful. He had picked out this spot a long time ago and made it a habit to be there every day at the ninth hour, the hour of prayer, to take advantage of all the pious people making their way into the Temple courtyard to pray. It was a good spot for someone looking for a handout, or this man wouldn't have been there. Religious people are always giving people. It's what we do. We may not give a lot, but we do give. And this man knew that to be the case.
So when he saw Peter and John, he simply saw two more potential "givers." But he was about to get more than he ever expected. According to verse 5, he was "expecting to receive something from them." But the first words out of Peter's mouth probably disappointed him: "I do not possess silver and gold" Peter knew what he wanted. He knew that this guy had money on his mind. That was all he had come to expect. Even though money could do nothing to change his circumstances. At the end of the day, he would go home just the way he came: "Lame from his mother's womb."
But Peter's response to the man had a second part: "But what I have I give to you." This is the part that hit me between the eyes this morning. In essence, Peter was saying, "I don't have what you want (silver and gold), but I do have what you NEED."
So what did Peter possess? Well, if we're not careful, we'll just jump to the conclusion that Peter had the power to heal, because that's exactly what he did. He grabbed the guy's hand, lifted him up, and told him to walk. But Peter tells us exactly what it was that he had that he given to this man. You find it in verses 12 and 16:
A power greater than himself - Peter tells the astonished onlookers, "Why do you gaze at us, as if by our own power we had made him walk?"
Peter knew he was nothing more than a conduit, a pipeline, of God's power. He was a resource that God was using to touch and transform lives.
The name of Jesus - Peter goes on to reveal that it was Jesus' name "which has strengthened this man." That's where the power and the authority comes from. Look at verse 6 again. Peter said, "In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene -- walk!" We tend to focus on the faith it took for Peter to say the last word, "Walk." But Peter's real act of faith was recognizing that the very name of Jesus had power attached to it. And as Jesus' representative, Peter knew he had the authority to use that name to transform the lives of those around him.
And faith in that name - It was not the lame man's faith that healed him, but Peter's faith in the name of Jesus. Peter is the one who said, "Walk!" Peter is the one who grabbed the man's hand and raised him up. Peter is the one who knew that he possessed something that would change this man's life forever.
So what do you possess today? What do you have today that could change the life of those in need around you? They're out there. Needy people waiting at the gate for someone to give them what they think they need. But as Christ followers, we possess what they really need. The life-changing, transforming power of the name of Jesus Christ. You see, people don't need another handout, they need to hear about Jesus. People don't need our sympathy, they need to hear about Jesus. People don't need to be ignored, they need for us to step out by faith and speak the life-changing name of Jesus Christ into their lives.
So let's give the greatest gift we could ever give another human being. The gift of the name of Jesus. Let's share Him with someone today. His name has the power to change, heal, and transform. But do we believe it?
Father, help me believe in Your Son's name. Not just for salvation, but so that I might speak the name of Jesus into the lives of all those with whom I come into contact. Help me trust in the power of your name to transform lives. Help me remember that this isn't about my power and piety, it's about the name of Jesus. The name above every other name. Amen.