Not everyone gets included. Someone has to be picked last for kickball in PE class. Some kids don’t have parents to provide for them, much less buy them gifts for birthdays or Christmas. The weird guy at work is isolated because he is the topic of conversation, not a participant in it. The storms of life bring heartbreak, and some will turn inward trying to escape the pain. Some people live their lives as outsiders. They see what everyone else does and wish they could be a part of it.

In Acts 3, we read about an outsider. He was a beggar, and he was lame from birth. He sat outside the temple but did not participate. He asked for alms from fellow Jews but would have otherwise been invisible. From society’s perspective, he offered no value to the community other than to be the avenue through which a religious obligation to do charity could be met. He wasn’t a person. He was an object.

God doesn’t see people like people see people. In the Bible, the blind, lame, lepers, and other disabled people have an unexpected volume of verses written about them. Far from treating them unfairly, God used the weak and powerless in this world to do amazing things in the kingdom of God. This man in Acts 3 was no exception. God had a plan for this outsider.

In Acts 3:7, Peter heals the man in the name of Jesus Christ. No amount of silver and gold could have been a more excellent charity than healing his body. In Acts 3:8, the man realizes he is healed. It was a miracle, and he reacted as someone would in his situation. He walked, he leaped, he praised God. Where did the man go first? Into the temple. Into the place he had seen, from the outside. He could fully participate; no one could keep him out. As he kept praising God, Peter began preaching the gospel to those in the temple.

God cared about this man in Acts 3. He made it so that the man was no longer on the outside looking in. God included the excluded. God still cares about the excluded today. So many hurt and wonder where their place is in this life. They feel they don’t fit in. God can heal that. He no longer does miraculous healings as we read in Acts 3, but the most important healing we see in Acts 3 is not physical but spiritual. That sort of healing is freely available to all. That healing is found in Jesus Christ.

Do you feel like you are on the outside looking in? Then come and join us. You will always be welcome here. Sit down with me over an open Bible, and let’s study how God heals broken hearts. Hope to see you Sunday at 9:30 or 10:45! 

Photo by Loreta Pavoliene on Unsplash

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