HJ-ED-DHJHerald Journal Columns
October 8, 2007, Herald Journal
Pastor's Column

I give you Jesus

Marc Trujillo, Asst. Professor of Bible & Theology, Crown College

In Acts 3 of the Bible, there is a story of giving.

Peter and John, the apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ, went to the temple. They were going to pray.

It was a warm, sunny mid-afternoon and several people were busy going here and there. Street vendors were shouting their wares, mothers were gathering food for the evening meal, and men were building, yelling, and working.

The busyness of the afternoon was filled with typical noise. The call to prayer echoed throughout and mixed in with the common language of the day.

There was a man who, when he had gotten up that morning, had waited for his friend to come and help him out. This man was crippled. In every sense of the term, he was unable to walk or it was just too difficult. After many years of non-use, his legs were too weak.

Finally, after about an hour, the friend came by to make him breakfast, sort out his clothes, and get him ready for the day.

Now, at about 2 in the afternoon, this crippled man had several other men carry him to the temple gate. There, he would beg so he could pay for the services he received. In that day, there were no rehabilitation centers, no government programs, and there were certainly no job offers. What can a crippled man do, but beg?

As a beggar, he was mostly ignored, though a few would look upon him with pity and give him a few small coins.

But this day would be different. As he sat there crying out, begging, trying to get someone’s attention to help him in his plight, two men were coming toward him.

There are times in our lives when things we hear become normal, too normal, to the point we can no longer hear them. They just become din, noise that fills the air. If the noises fell silent, only then would we notice. But we would only notice that something was missing, and not necessarily know what.

I am sure many of the men who walked past this man had heard him begging daily, monthly, and yearly. They walked quickly, talking with their friends and comrades. Here this man sat, on the margins of life, ignored, pitied, and forgotten.

Peter and John may have also walked toward him, lost in thought, or in conversation. They may have known this man and seen him confined to his spot, daily begging. They may have heard his cry for help, and they may have catalogued his cry to the noise that was routine.

But somehow, this day was different. The cripple, the man on the margin, got Peter’s attention.

Extending his hand, the beggar said, “Help me! Can you help me?”

Immediately, Peter and John stopped and looked straight at this man. They may have wondered how many times this man had sat here begging, ignored and forgotten. How many times had Peter walked by?

The man tried to get the attention of others as they walked by, since Peter didn’t seem to be helping him out.

But Peter said, “Look at us!”

Immediately, the beggar gave his attention, his heart a little more light – relieved, in a sense. Finally, someone would give him a handout, maybe a few coins. Maybe he could eat that night.

But what he heard next disappointed him.

“Silver and gold I do not have, but what I have, I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk!” Peter said.

Nothing immediately happened, and the man sat there dumbfounded, startled and bewildered. But Peter took his hand and began to lift him up.

The man felt as if he should protest, yell or scream for help. But he also felt something, something marvelous. He felt his legs growing stronger, healthy and powerful.

He didn’t get up, he jumped. He didn’t walk, he danced. He didn’t laugh, he rejoiced.

He started to worship God. His legs were healed. His condition was gone. He could work; he could do more – he could live!

“I give you Jesus.” The greatest gift, the greatest name is ours to give.

Interestingly, today, the church no longer says “silver and gold I do not have.” Yet at the same time, it regrettably can no longer say, “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk!”

What happened to our power? What happened to our focus? What are we offering to those in need – to our friends, our neighbors, and our community?

I say, we offer them Jesus, for in Jesus is all the fullness, in Jesus is all the completeness, and in Jesus is all the wholeness.

I challenge you to stay in Christ. Stay in his wholeness, his holiness, his overwhelming superiority.

Stay in Christ to know the fullness and complete joy. So that, today, we can say, “In the name of Christ, rise up and walk.”

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