According to an April 2015 study, 1.75 million Americans are homeless. This stat doesn’t include the unemployed, hungry or those on the verge of losing their permanent shelter. While its not ideal, some are forced to beg, creating card board signs, standing at busy intersections hoping for enough generosity and or pity to get through the day.
Now a man who was lame from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts, Acts 3:2.
Prior to intersections, the poor would sit or stand at gates, where travelers walk in and out of large cities. The disciples had their own encounters with beggars and leave it to Peter to provide an unusual yet powerful message. Beginning with a bit of sarcasm, likely in response to his wardrobe, “do you see what I’m wearing?” Unable to offer money, Peter offers this crippled beggar a slice of the supernatural.
So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them. Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk,” Acts 3:5-6.
Reaching out to or relating to the poor is not one of my strengths. Yet, when I’ve tasted poverty, I was able to see the other side, walking in the steps of the helpless. If or when you arrive, don’t be ashamed for in your weakness Christ is strong. In fact, Jesus told his followers on a few occasions, “you don’t have because you haven’t asked.” Therefore, the next tell you call out to the Lord in prayer, remember, this is a beautiful place to beg.
by Jay Mankus