Acts 3: 11-20
While the man held on to Peter and John, all the people were astonished and came running to them in the place called Solomon’s Colonnade. When Peter saw this, he said to them: ‘Fellow Israelites, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus. You handed him over to be killed, and you disowned him before Pilate, though he had decided to let him go. You disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you. You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this. By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has completely healed him, as you can all see.
‘Now, fellow Israelites, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did your leaders. But this is how God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, saying that his Messiah would suffer. Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that he may send the Messiah, who has been appointed for you – even Jesus.
The healing of this paralysed man provokes a reaction among the crowd of astonishment and amazement. They all know him, they have passed him every day as he begged at the entrance to the temple. They want to know more. Who did this? How did it happen?
Take note who the man praised when he was healed? Twice it says the same thing: He praised God.
Peter and John didn’t let the attention get focused on them. They didn’t build a platform and proclaim: “See that guy, we healed him, give us some money and we’ll heal you too." No. All the glory went to God.
Peter is speaking to the crowd who have gathered and he says this:
“Peter...said to them: Men of Israel, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus...” (vv 12-13)
And then verse 16:
“By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus' name and the faith that comes through him that has given this complete healing to him, as you can all see.”
Peter says: "Don't look at me – I didn't do this – it was God’s power released through Jesus’ name."
One of the questions which always comes up when we think about healing is: what if we pray and God doesn’t heal the person? Good question.
You know what I think God would say to us to answer that:
'DON’T TAKE THE GLORY WHEN I DO HEAL AND DON’T TAKE THE BLAME WHEN I DON’T HEAL.'
God is God, His ways are so beyond ours, and there are times when we just can’t figure out why we prayed and God did something amazing in this person’s life, but we also prayed for this other person and nothing happened.
We can try to figure out why that happened, but we simply won’t be able to.
Does that mean we shouldn’t pray? No. If we pray for 100 people and 10 are healed, that’s ten more than would have been healed if we prayed for nobody at all.
And if we pray and they aren’t healed immediately, keep on praying. There’s something about perseverance, pressing on, keeping going and continuing to trust Him, even if we don’t get the answers we want.
But also know, there will be times when someone isn’t healed. It’s just the reality of living in a fallen, broken world.
Our job isn't to have all the answers, it's simply to step out in obedience and faith.