Bigger Than Your Bank Balance, Pt 2
What’s so empowering about this story, is that it gives us a picture of radical life change in the context of severely limited resources. It’s a case study in how Hope can come into hopeless situations even when it’s either not wise or not possible to meet the financial need (which is often the most obvious or first expressed need). This is a MASSIVE issue, particularly in an African context (where I live), but even on a larger scale in the face of global giants like HIV, starvation, endemic debt and natural disasters.
So what happened at the temple gate? A man, in fact a beggar, crippled from the day he was born, asked Peter and John for some money. Peter doesn’t have enough money to throw at the problem, and so he tells the cripple he’s broke. Similar things happen on the streets of our cities every single day – but here’s the difference – Peter goes beyond the issue of restricted finances, and taps into a different kind of resource. A resource that, in actual fact exceeds this man’s expectations, and that rather than feeding him for a day (as the proverb goes) leaves him never having to beg another day in his life.
Peter offers him healing in the name of Jesus, and the man’s life is never the same again. The cause of his poverty is eradicated, the stigma around his condition is obliterated and he is set free from what has imprisoned him for his whole life. Now that’s radical life change.
This story has got me thinking recently about how, despite the financial limitations that affect 99.9% of us, we can still see lives radically changed, and make a real difference for Jesus in this world.
Am I saying that we should pray for the sick? Absolutely! Our church is trusting God for more and more healings and that might even be the main application of this text – but I’m not stopping there. Healing is wonderful and precious and I believe that as the body of Christ we need to keep pressing into this critical area of biblical life and New Testament church. In the third and final post in this series, I want us to look at 5 ways that we can have an impact bigger than our bank accounts – as individuals and as churches.