“Such as I have give I thee. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!… and leaping up he stood and began to walk, and entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God (Acts 3:6,8). Peter acted on the authority of the name of Jesus Christ and turned a 40-year-old (Acts 4:22) disabled beggar into a world-class triple-jumper or hurdler!

man leaping (Edyta Pawlowska)The words “rise up” do not appear in all Greek manuscripts, so it could read, “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, Walk!” In Greek grammar, “walk” is in the present imperative–“begin to walk and keep on walking.” “And he [Peter] took him by the right hand and raised him up, and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong” (Acts 3:7). This is an interesting parallel of the moment when Jesus had lifted up Peter’s mother-in-law and she was healed of a fever (Mark 1:31).

It is also similar to the healing of a lame man by Paul in Lystra in Acts 14:8-10. Interestingly, on that occasion we are specifically told that Paul “perceived” that the man had faith to be healed (verse 9). The lifting up by Peter was an encouragement to the man who may never have stood on the soles of his feet. I feel that the act was the result of yet another revelation that Peter received from God.

Now I’d like you to underline “immediately” or “instantly” in your Bible (verse 7). The Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts, written by Luke, use this Greek word 17 times out of the 19 times in the New Testament. While it is a different word from that used 17 times in the Gospel of Mark, particularly in the early chapters, there seems to be agreement that here in Acts it is a good translation.

Many of these usages have to do with healing miracles. I can only think of one healing in the gospels that was a two-stage healing, and that is the blind man at Bethesda who, after Jesus touched him, could only “see men, but they look like trees, walking” (Mark 8:24 ESV). On the second touch, he saw “everything clearly.” Some sick people were instructed to obey certain commands, like the ten lepers who were to visit the priest and get official confirmation, or the blind man to whom Jesus put mud in his eyes and told him to go wash them in the pool of Siloam and he would see.

The truth to be observed here is the immediacy at which God works on behalf of the believer. God only inhabits time to look after His children; in spirit everything is immediate, provided it has been stated as God’s will. When future events are revealed in scripture they will happen exactly on time every time. We may think God is late (like the Seventh Day Adventists in the “Great Disappointment” of 1844 and the Jehovah’s Witnesses many predictions), but the problem is with our understanding, not God.

To Isaiah in the Old Testament God said, “Before they call I will answer; while they are yet speaking I will hear” (Isaiah 65:24). There is no nanosecond delay with God. You are right to be amazed at how good a God we have, as were the witnesses of this incident. “And all the people saw him walking and praising God, 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” (Acts 3:9-10).  Read More 

In a normal, everyday situation, guidance is given to Peter to tell the lame man at the gate of the temple to look at them both. “And Peter directed his gaze at him, as did John, and said, ‘Look at us.'” (Acts 3:4 ESV). The lame beggar they encountered on the way was hoping for a monetary gift but he got something greater. I found on the internet a sermon on this passage that Pastor Jerry Shirley had titled, “The Man Who Asked for Alms and Got Legs!”

begging (highwaystarz, dollarphotoclub)“And he fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them” (verse 5). The word “expecting” in verse 5 in many translations is a different word from the positive expectation in Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is the substance of things expected.” With the lame man it was a possible hope but not one with assurance. He was ready to receive a gift but had no foundation yet to make it a certainty. See my article “Expectation: the Key to Believing God.”

Peter explained to him that he had a temporary cash-flow problem, yet “Such as I have give I thee” (KJV). I just love the familiar yet old-worldly flow of the Authorised version. “What I do have I give to you” (ESV). “Peter said, ‘I don’t have a nickel to my name, but what I do have, I give you…'” (MSG).

Some comment that the verse proves the disciples were poor, but other passages disprove that. As Sydney Smith wrote in the late 1700s, “Poverty of course is no disgrace to a man, but it is confoundedly inconvenient.” Yet when you have Christ in you and your God supplies all your need according to His riches in glory, then you have to work hard to be poor. Just because you have no coins in your pocket on a particular day does not make you poor.

“Such as I have…” What did Peter have? That is the question that needs to be considered here.  Read More