Remember the Donut Man? Popular in the early 90s, he was a silly guy with a talking donut friend who made kids laugh while teaching Bibles lessons through music. My kids grew up on his shows, but even more than they loved the donut puppet, Dunkin, they loved the songs!
One of my daughter’s favorite songs was “Walking and Leaping”, taken from the story in Acts 3. Peter and John went to pray at the temple. This was after the death and resurrection of Jesus. They came upon a man who had been lame from birth. Each day this man was carried to the gate called Beautiful to beg for alms as people passed by. When the disciples arrived, Peter and John told the man to look at them, and he did, expecting to receive money. What he got was so much more! Sing it with me, “Silver and gold have I none, but such as I have give I thee, in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.” Then Peter took him by the hand and pulled him up. Immediately his bones received strength and “he went walking and leaping and praising God”. He couldn’t stop! Could you?
The people were amazed and, consequently, fixated on the disciples because of this miracle. But Peter and John were sure to give all glory to God, not taking any credit for themselves. In verses 12-16, Peter plainly exalts Christ saying, “why look so intently at us, as though by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? …His name, through faith in His name, has made this man strong.” Peter continues (vs. 19) by exhorting them all to repent and be saved as well “so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.”
When Jesus did miracle healings, it was first and foremost forgiveness of sin. The physical wholeness was a visual proof of spiritual restoration due to faith in Him. That’s not to say everyone who believes will be healed. Only God knows who, when and why or why not. But aside from salvation, this refreshing in the presence of the Lord can come daily. I’ve always loved this story and, in fact, grew up on the “silver and gold” song too, same words, different tune (watch out if my daughter and I ever sing it together!). A couple years ago, I had the opportunity to visit old city Jerusalem and the south side of the temple, where this gate called Beautiful stood. My heart sang because of this story and, of course, I sent my grown daughter a picture, with song lyrics, so she could appreciate the moment with me.
Jesus is the Beautiful Gate – the entrance not only to heaven, but to peace in fear, strength in weakness, control in anger, wisdom in confusion, hope in hopelessness. Are you lame in a certain area of life? I can’t promise you’ll get money, or whatever else you’re desiring, but I do know God gives more than we can ask or imagine. Go ahead, sit in the presence of the Lord. Expect something; and see if you don’t leave “walking and leaping and praising God”.