This morning I was reading the story from Acts 3:1-10, where Peter and John, on their way to the Temple, encounter a lame man begging for money and heal him in Jesus’ name. What is interesting about this story is that it is highly likely that Jesus and his disciples, including Peter and John had seen, and passed by this man many times before as they were entering the Temple. We know Jesus visited the Temple often and certainly this man who was unable to walk, used the Temple entrance to beg for money because of the constant traffic of people going in and out. Did Jesus not heal him so that Peter and John could seize the opportunity to do so? Seems likely.
Think of the people we encounter every day on our way to “here” or “there?” Like the lame man, many position themselves in life where and when they do, believing that this is their best opportunity to get ahead, or to get what they need, or want. We see them, we pass them, we can ignore them, we may or may not recognize the opportunity we have to not merely drop a few “coins” into their life, but to more importantly, give them Jesus! Peter said, “I don’t have any money, but what I do have is Jesus, and I’m giving him to you, so raise up and walk!” Wow, imagine what that could look like in our lives as we encounter people along the way??
To be very honest, today, as I do 4-5 times per week on my way to my office, I stop at a particular traffic light, always in the far left lane to make my turn. For the past 4 days there has been a man there along the road, most likely homeless, with a sign that indicates he needs some help- he’s essentially begging for money. To date, I haven’t stopped; mostly because I’m either skeptical of his intentions, since I’ve encountered the scammers many times before, or I simply don’t take the time. Tomorrow, if he’s there, and hopefully he is, I must. I do have some money, and I’d like to give him some. But more importantly, I have Jesus, and I need to give him Jesus more than anything else.