Steve Bremner

Author, Podcaster & Writing Coach

Gates Are Only Beautiful If You Can Enter Them – Thoughts On Acts 3This post is a 3 min read

We’ve been going through the book of Acts on Sunday nights in our church meetings at Mark and Anna Burgess’ house, and I’ve been thinking about some things from the 3rd chapter of this book and thought I’d publish these thoughts from my notes when I shared on the well-known and somewhat infamous story of healing in this chapter.  In fact, it’s worth noting that this is the first healing recorded in the Bible since Jesus ascended to heaven and the Holy Spirit had come on the believers in the second chapter of Acts.

The man was crippled from birth, and had been at this gate for so long that most people had grown accustomed to seeing him there.  More than likely Peter and John walked pasted him many times in their routine visit to the temple.  But something was different on this occasion.  The man would wait at the gate called Beautiful which is ironic, because there’s nothing beautiful about his plight.  He pled for money day in and day out, when what he really needed was a touch from God in his physical body so he could walk like a normal person.  Nobody entering into the “presence of God” in the temple could provide that for him.  As a result, he received whatever finances he could get from passers-by.

But there was more than just a catchy name to this gate–Beautiful.  He was located strategically, but ironically; he was “outside” of God’s presence, symbolically speaking.   For some people, what represents a gate into the presence of God or the community of believers is a barrier instead of an entrance. This was the eastern gate, which historians say was made of brass and overlaid with gold and silver. The sun would shine on it every morning when it arose, so, it LOOKED very nice.  It’s therefore very interesting indeed that Peter and John responded that “silver or gold, have I none, but what I do have, I give you.”  They were not just talking about not having any money like the man was asking for.  They gave him what he needed.  But there was also a poignant irony; as nice and fancy as this building looked at the time, it didn’t represent the fulness of what God has to offer and what can be obtained through Christ Jesus.  The temple was supposed to represent the house that could contain the presence of God.  But now, two men full of the power and presence of the Holy Spirit, WERE the true temples of God in this dispensation, and offered the man what he really needed.   A lot could be said about building nice churches and large sanctuaries but not having the presence of the Holy Spirit.

I want to say to you that if you are a Christian, you HAVE something to give. It doesn’t matter if we don’t have a church, or have nice looking things or are as important as other ministries–if you are saved, filled with the Holy Spirit, you HAVE the ability to give it to others;

If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you. (Romans 8:11, ESV)

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us,  to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (Ephesians 3:20-21, ESV)

Questions To Ponder

What Are People “Getting” From Your Life?

Are you giving people what you want to give them, or what they really need?

Do you make excuses for yourself about why you can’t or won’t help somebody?

About Steve Bremner

Steve the coffee drinker is a Canadian missionary to Peru, who after raising up disciples to flow in the power of the Holy Spirit within a missional community named Oikos for many years, now helps people bring their own ideas and messages to life through books and audio productions. If you like Steve's blog, you'll also like his books and audiobooks. Note: this post may have contained affiliate links of which the author receives a small commission if you purchase something recommended in the post.