Have you ever encountered people with great needs and felt overwhelmed at their plight? I think that’s one reason why ordinarily good people still find it easier to not make eye contact with the street person, because of the fear that comes with not knowing what to do to help. Sometimes its easier to just turn a blind eye to problems than to face them with no idea of how to fix them. I know I’ve wrestled with that in my own experiences.
We may look at ourselves and think that we have limited resources or no noticeable skills and discount any contribution that we could make in advancing the kingdom of God…but the passage we’ll be reading this Sunday in our study in Acts will challenge our thinking about that. We’ll be reading Acts 3:1-10.
As you read the passage, consider the setting (v1-3). Where does this event take place, and what is the situation that sets this stage? Who are the characters involved, and what is each of them doing? In what ways could you picture this arrangement as symbolic of the world’s plight?
Everything about the scene is familiar and even normal in the current system of things until we get to v4. From there, the story takes a radical turn. The MLFB (man lame from birth) looks expectantly to Pete and Jack. What do you think he was expecting from them? They explain they are cashless, but their lack of resources does not limit their sense of ministry one iota. Pete explains that he will give what he has…so what does he offer? How does this challenge our understanding of ministering when we have limited resources of our own?
If we follow the chain of events, what is the first thing Peter does with this man in v4 and 5? What significance do you see in this exchange of attention?
Some believe this account is a blueprint to follow, expecting that everyone who is prayed for in Jesus’ name will be healed if a person can muster enough faith – others see it as exemplary of the redemption found in the activity of Christ through his church – still others see it as simply a one-off sign to confirm the validity of first church’s claims about Christ. Do you share one of these views, or have an opinion about this to expound on?
What is the result of this event (v9-10)? On a scale of 1-5, with one being extremely low and five being extremely high – how would you rate your expectancy when it comes to miracles occurring? In what ways can we start to remove our sense of limitations when it comes to our participation in advancing God’s kingdom?
I really love this passage and everything that follows – it should prove to be an encouraging/challenging study! Hope to see you Sunday.
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