"One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon. Now a man who was lame from birth was being carried to the temple gatecalled Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!” So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them." Acts 3:1-5
In the 3rd chapter of Acts, it says that Peter and John were in Jerusalem and walked by a gate leading into the Temple, the gate called Beautiful. There sat a crippled beggar. They instantly healed him and brought him walking and dancing into the Temple. But did you know his soul was made whole as well? He had been touched by God’s love through the apostles’ hands.
The Hebrew worshipers were astonished because they had passed by this man day in and day out on the way to worship. Maybe some had contributed a small coin to his livelihood now and then when they had spare change. But, it never occurred to any of them to bring God’s healing love to the man. That would have taken more effort and faith.
As Christians, we are called to look around us and see who is hanging out just outside the gate called Beautiful—just outside our blessed lives—who may need God’s love, despite how “loveable” they may appear. It may be a street beggar, or the in-law that sets your teeth on edge. Perhaps it is that really negative person at work who gossips about everyone, or a stranger who slips in and sits on the back pew.
We have experienced His love, being healed in spirit, and maybe in body too; therefore, we are to bring others into His Temple of Mercy. It’s our calling to take them by the hand and help them enter through the gate called Beautiful (because we are all precious in His sight) into His loving presence where they can be made worthy by His sacrifice.
No matter how busy I am, Father, show me who to lead through the gate called Beautiful today: maybe with a smile to a harried grocery store clerk, or letting that person in ahead of me during rush hour traffic, or hugging a loved one even when I‘ve had a rotten day. Teach me each day to pray, then obey, and not walk away. Amen.
This week, pray for God to show you who you should lead through the Beautiful Gate. Then obey, and don’t walk away.
Further reading: Learn to See Through Jesus’ Eyes