“In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.”
— Acts 3:6
I had to watch my steps while hiking through a stretch called Raven Rocks on the Appalachian Trail in West Virginia. Giant boulders line the trail there, and sharp rocks litter the path. I gingerly danced through them, knowing that an injured ankle could end my walking for a while.
Soon after the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost (Acts 2), Peter and John met a man who had never been able to walk. He saw them entering the temple one day and asked them for money. Peter said he had no money but would gladly give what he did have: “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth,” Peter said, “walk.” Peter took the man’s hand, and the man’s feet and ankles instantly became strong. So he began “walking and jumping, and praising God.”
Stories like this one from the early church demonstrate the healing power of Jesus as his disciples spread the good news of salvation in Christ. Many of these stories include physical healing, and sometimes even the dead are raised to life.
Today we still see Jesus’ healing power at work, but not always so dramatically. Yet even if our bodies are not healed now, our spirits are made whole with God’s peace and hope. And the good news about Jesus empowers us to praise God as we wait for the day of his coming again.
Lord Jesus, give us the heart and zeal to share what we have as we spread your good news everywhere. Amen.