Evangelism is terrifying. Often we think about trying to convince a nonbeliever to believe in Jesus, and we quake in our boots. In the book of Acts, God works supernaturally and this create a curiosity in people to hear the gospel. Revelation 11 pictures the church at the end of time witnessing faithfully before Jesus’ return, and they are witnessing in the power of Elijah and Moses. What can we learn about the lifestyle of miracles of the apostles in Acts 3?
First, they had a habit of prayer. Even though 3000 people had just come to Christ (Acts 2:41) and amazing signs and wonders were being performed, they did not neglect the basic disciplines of prayer. They “were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour” (3 PM; 3:1). Jews typically prayed three times a day: the third hour (9 AM), the ninth hour (3 PM) and the twelfth hour (6 PM). The apostles were not too busy to keep up a regular discipline of prayer, and neither should we.
Next, they saw the needs of others. When Peter saw a lame beggar asking for alms, he “directed his gaze at him” (3:4). No matter how busy he was, he did not walk past the needs of others or throw in a penny to ease his own conscience. Peter was aware of the needs and the brokenness around him. Similarly, we must direct our gaze and see the brokenness of those around us. We must not be so busy that we do not see the needs of people around us. We must pause to see what the Lord is doing, listening to the needs of others, seeing the state of their hearts.
Next, Peter proclaims the mighty name of Jesus. Although his own resources were inadequate (“I have no silver or gold”; 3:6), he gives them Jesus (“in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk”; 3:6). He connects the mighty power of Jesus to the real needs in front of him. There is power in the name of Jesus, and we can similarly connect that power to the needs of people in order to make disciples (Matt 28:19–20).
Fourth, Peter stretched out his hands to help. He does not stop by telling the beggar what to do; he “took him by the right hand and raised him up,” and then “immediately his feet and ankles were made strong” (3:7). Words alone did not heal the man, but when he stretched out his hands to help him practically, God immediately strengthens his ankles. We need to reach out our hands practically to help others.
Finally, when the curiosity of people is aroused by this miracle (3:10), Peter proclaims the power of the name of Jesus. Although this healing is supernatural, the people stare at Peter and John as if they did it (3:12). Instead, they proclaim that it is “his [Jesus’] name—by faith in his name—has made this man strong whom you see and know, and the faith that is through Jesus has given the man this perfect health in the presence of you all” (3:16). They take no credit, but the miracle is a sign that points to the name of Jesus.
My prayer for our church is that God would work supernaturally to bring people to Himself. Let us establish basic habits of prayer, spending time in God’s presence on a regular basis at regular times. Let us open our eyes to the needs and brokenness of people around us. Let us speak the power of the name of Jesus into the brokenness of the lives around us, and reach out our hands to help people in practical ways as well. And when God works supernaturally through us, let us use His work as a sign and pointer to the power of the name of Jesus again. May God release supernatural evangelism in our midst in our day and age.
If we are to be a supernaturally witnessing church that we see in Revelation 11 and in Acts, then we must establish a similar lifestyle. Lord, help us for this coming year!!