Acts 3: 2-5
Now a man who was lame from birth was being carried to the temple gate called 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.
Ezra 9: 5-6
Then, at the evening sacrifice, I rose from my self-abasement, with my tunic and cloak torn, and fell on my knees with my hands spread out to the Lord my God and prayed:
‘I am too ashamed and disgraced, my God, to lift up my face to you, because our sins are higher than our heads and our guilt has reached to the heavens.
Psalm 3: 3
But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high.
Luke 21: 28
When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.’
This crippled beggar asks Peter and John for money. Look at what we read next:
"Then Peter said, ‘Look at us!’ So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them." (vv 4-5)
As I was reading this, I paused here. I thought it was strange that Luke included this in the story. It doesn’t need to be there.
What’s going on?
Imagine the scene – this man who can’t walk is sitting at the gate begging, while all the men who could walk were walking right past him and ignoring him. In fact they may even have been judging him. At that time, if you were crippled like this, it was thought that it might be because you sinned or your parents sinned.
So how do you think he would have been sitting – head up or down? Bent over, head down, a posture of shame, fear, isolation, desperation, hopelessness. He couldn’t look people in the eyes.
And Peter, standing up above him, says: "Look at us."
In other words, 'Lift your head. Lift your head and look us in the eyes.'
Psalm 3:3 says:
“..you are a shield around me, O LORD; you bestow glory on me and lift up my head.”
God is the lifter of our heads.
If today your head is down for whatever reason – shame, guilt, fear, hopelessness – God wants you to lift your head. He wants you to look up at Him, turn your gaze towards Him, see His love and allow Him to lift off from you whatever is causing you to look down.