The third chapter of Acts recounts the dramatic story of a crippled man left to beg outside the temple gate in Jerusalem. This was a favorite entrance to the temple, set apart from the other nine entrances by its size, valuable construction materials and craftsmanship. It was the gate called Beautiful. Unable to provide for himself, the beggar’s condition made it impossible for him to enter the temple. The apostles Peter and John had no coins to give him, but what they gave him was far more valuable…in the name of Jesus Christ they gave him his wholeness. Raised to his feet through the power of that name, he was able to enter the temple courts rejoicing, through the gate called Beautiful.
Do you know someone crippled in spirit, waiting outside the gate? In their longing to be whole they may have tried many ways to enter into a more fulfilling life. There are gates which swing easily open, beckoning with promises of easy gain and pleasure, but the path leads downward into darkness.
Jesus said “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” – Mt. 7:13-14. The crippled in spirit need someone who knows the way to show them the gate which leads to life…Jesus is that gate. He said “I am the way, and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” – John 14:6
Peter and John had nothing of material value to give to the crippled beggar, but what they offered was far better. They showed him the beautiful gate to life through Jesus Christ, helped him to his feet and by faith he went into the temple, “walking and jumping and praising God.” He gained access into a place he had gazed at with longing all his life, not by his own doing, but only through faith in Jesus’ name.
Peter and John were ushers to the gate, showing the way to the abundant life of wholeness for the crippled beggar by healing him in the name of Jesus. We too are ushers, already allowed access into the beautiful kingdom of God. We have the privilege of showing the gate to others searching for a way to peace, for we know the way already and the beauty of what lies within…communion forever with Jesus.
“Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise;
give thanks to Him and praise His name.” Psalm 100:4