All the people saw him walking and heard him praising God. 10 When they realized he was the lame beggar they had seen so often at the Beautiful Gate, they were absolutely astounded! 11 They all rushed out in amazement to Solomon’s Colonnade, where the man was holding tightly to Peter and John.
12 Peter saw his opportunity and addressed the crowd. “People of Israel,” he said, “what is so surprising about this? And why stare at us as though we had made this man walk by our own power or godliness? 13 For it is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—the God of all our ancestors—who has brought glory to his servant Jesus by doing this. This is the same Jesus whom you handed over and rejected before Pilate, despite Pilate’s decision to release him. 14 You rejected this holy, righteous one and instead demanded the release of a murderer. 15 You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. And we are witnesses of this fact!
16 “Through faith in the name of Jesus, this man was healed—and you know how crippled he was before. Faith in Jesus’ name has healed him before your very eyes. – Acts 3:9-16
Perhaps you remember the scene in the Indiana Jones movie where Indiana must walk across a chasm in order to save the day (or his own skin!). There is no bridge visible, but he must take the first step of faith. As he puts his foot out and down into thin air a solid bridge materializes under his feet. He takes another step. More bridge appears. And so it goes: believing makes it so.
Some people have that view of faith. The Bible does, after all, describe faith as “the assurance of things hoped for and the conviction of things not seen.” That truth does not translate, however, to bridges materializing under our feet when it comes to biblical, Christian faith. That faith is founded on God’s promise, secured by Jesus’ death and resurrection, and attested to in the Bible.
The impact of that faith is also attested to in these verses. We see how God acts in mighty and unanticipated ways in the healing of this man. We see how God changes his life. The man who once begged for daily sustenance now praises God for far more than a few alms. He can walk!
I am intrigued by the phrase, “Faith in Jesus’ name has healed him before your very eyes.” The ESV has this verse: “And his name—by faith in his name—has made this man strong whom you see and know, and the faith that is through Jesus has given the man this perfect health in the presence of you all.”
Jesus is the source of perfect healing and complete restoration. This is not something we make happen by our hard-fought belief. This is something we discover as we exercise our Holy Spirit-given faith. Another way to put it: Faith does not cause one to be healed. Faith discovers the healing to have been a gift from God.
A strong net will catch even the greatest doubter when he falls. But a weak net will fail the one whose faith is stronger than Abraham’s. The strength of our faith is that in which we put our faith. Faith put in the name of Jesus will never disappoint. It will discover perfect healing and complete restoration in his name.