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 3:6 NIV)
Peter and John were going into the temple compound one afternoon to pray. And on the way they encountered a beggar. Just like today, beggars would gather where they were most likely to be given some money. And that was the case here. Peter and John likely walked past many beggars to get to the temple. But something prompted them to engage with this one. A man who had been lame from birth and was carried to this spot to beg. I believe that it was the Holy Spirit who orchestrated this encounter in order to advance the kingdom.
The man was looking for money, and surely expected that when Peter addressed him. And just as surely he was initially disappointed when Peter told him they had no silver or gold. But then Peter offered something to him that was much better than silver or gold. He offered healing to this lame man and raised him to his feet. And instantly his legs became strong and he could walk and leap. And praise for God was on his lips. You can well imagine that it was not just his legs that were healed that day.
What I Have, I Give
I suspect that I am not alone in preferring to give money to the needy rather than getting actively involved. It is much easier and does seem to be what most people are asking for. But think what a difference it made to this man that Peter didn’t just throw some money his direction. Clearly we cannot help every person we encounter. And offering miraculous healing likely is not what God has called you to do. But we can, and should, be sensitive to encounters that the Holy Spirit arranges. And, when those happen, to be his hands and feet. You might find that the difference it makes extends beyond just the physical.