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"Look at Me!"

Pastor Dan's Sermon for Saturday, June 2nd, 2018

· Teaching

Acts 3:1–10 (ESV) — 1 Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. 2 And a man lame from birth was being carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple that is called the Beautiful Gate to ask alms of those entering the temple. 3 Seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked to receive alms. 4 And Peter directed his gaze at him, as did John, and said, “Look at us.” 5 And he fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them. 6 But Peter said, “I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!” 7 And he took him by the right hand and raised him up, and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong. 8 And leaping up, he stood and began to walk, and entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. 9 And all the people saw him walking and praising God, 10 and recognized him as the one who sat at the Beautiful Gate of the temple, asking for alms. And they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him. 

Peter was walking out the ministry of who? Who was Peter’s mentor? Notice how this not only is in the power of Jesus but it looks like Jesus because Peter was trained by Jesus. We too can be trained by Jesus through the Holy Spirit. The Bible says the Holy Spirit says he will remind us of everything He’s done.

Peter is able to do the kind of thing that Jesus did by acting in the name of Jesus by the power of the Spirit, thus the continuity between the ministry of Jesus and the witness of the church is expressed.

Under submission

Going to church and the beggar stops him. He stops.

When was the last time the Lord stopped you in your tracks?

Example: The woman who touched him.

The three pillars for the Jewish faith were the Torah, worship, and the showing of kindness or charity. Almsgiving was one of the main ways to show kindness and was thus considered a major expression of one’s devotion to God.

Engaging the person

The Greek ἀτενίζω: to fix one’s eyes on some object continually and intensely—‘to look straight at, to stare at, to keep one’s eyes fixed on.’

Look at us. Typical alms giver throw a coin in and move on.

Typically, donors would flip a coin in his direction as they hastened into the temple, scarcely giving him a glance. This time the would-be benefactors stopped in their tracks. Peter fixed his gaze on him (ἀτενίζω). “Look [blepō] at me,” he said. This obviously was not going to be a chance encounter, so the man responded by giving his total attention (epechō) to Peter. Perhaps he expected a display of unusual generosity. Would this be his day? Yes, it would be, but not as he might think.

Ex: The woman at the Well. And the leper

Reconciliation is first vertical but also horizontal.

When was the last time you looked someone in the eyes and listened to them and showed them that you cared?

Walking in Jesus Authority

What did Jesus do. Cast out demons, heal the sick, look at people, woman as the well, touch lepers, rebuke hypocrites. His ministry is summerized in Isaiah 61

Isaiah 61:1–4 ESV

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor;
he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor,
and the day of vengeance of our God;
to comfort all who mourn;
to grant to those who mourn in Zion—
to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit;
that they may be called oaks of righteousness,
the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified.
They shall build up the ancient ruins;
they shall raise up the former devastations;
they shall repair the ruined cities,
the devastations of many generations.

The NAME OF JESUS

In response to the beggar’s request for money, Peter fixed his eyes on him and said, “Look at us!” Thinking he had a benefactor, the beggar looked up expectantly. To his astonishment he heard the words: “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” In Semitic thought, a name does not just identify or distinguish a person; it expresses the very nature of his being. Hence the power of the person is present and available in the name of the person. Peter, therefore, does not just ask the risen Jesus to heal but pronounces over the crippled beggar the name of Jesus, thereby releasing the power of Jesus (cf. 3:16; 4:10). And the power of the risen Jesus, coupled with the man’s response of faith (cf. 3:16)

RESULT:

7 And he took him by the right hand and raised him up, and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong. 8 And leaping up, he stood and began to walk, and entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. 9 And all the people saw him walking and praising God, 10 and recognized him as the one who sat at the Beautiful Gate of the temple, asking for alms. And they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him. 

“Filled with wonder and amazement.” What was taking place was but a token, to those who had eyes to see, of the presence of the Messianic Age, of which the prophet had long ago predicted: “Then will the lame leap like a deer” (Isa 35:6)

Luke perhaps gave a veiled reference to the man’s healing being a sign of the messianic times that had come in Jesus. He used a rare word (hallomai) for the man’s jumping, a word found in the Septuagint text of Isa 35:6 with reference to the messianic age: “Then will the lame leap like a deer.”

Isaiah 35:6 ESV

then shall the lame man leap like a deer,
and the tongue of the mute sing for joy.
For waters break forth in the wilderness,
and streams in the desert;

The story of the woman also shows Jesus stopping and listening and opening up a way for a person seemingly outcast to come into the kingdom of God.

John 4:1–42 ESV

Now when Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John (although Jesus himself did not baptize, but only his disciples), he left Judea and departed again for Galilee. And he had to pass through Samaria. So he came to a town of Samaria called Sychar, near the field that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there; so Jesus, wearied as he was from his journey, was sitting beside the well. It was about the sixth hour. (For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.” Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.”

Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; for you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband. What you have said is true.” The woman said to him, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.” Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things.” Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am he.”
Just then his disciples came back. They marveled that he was talking with a woman, but no one said, “What do you seek?” or, “Why are you talking with her?” So the woman left her water jar and went away into town and said to the people, “Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?” They went out of the town and were coming to him.
Meanwhile the disciples were urging him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.” But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.” So the disciples said to one another, “Has anyone brought him something to eat?” Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work. Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest. Already the one who reaps is receiving wages and gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. For here the saying holds true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’ I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.”
Many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me all that I ever did.” So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them, and he stayed there two days. And many more believed because of his word. They said to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world.”

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