Just to be clear, Jesus is our exemplar extraordinaire, but his example has been repeated throughout the ages! His path of living whole-hearted allowed him to diminish the false constructs of division, of worthiness, of love. He breaks open the Kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven by inviting others to join the feast. He uses images of a banquet in which the servants go into the streets to invite whoever they find; he sits at tables with those considered ‘sinners’; he invites the working class people to become his disciples rather than the elite, the powerful and the connected.
Soon after the Church is birthed, Peter and John are heading to pray. They are living in the light of the resurrection power poured out through the Holy Spirit, they don’t hurry past those in need or ignore their cry. Instead, they stop and listen—not with head, but with heart. Read Acts 3:1-10.
What this man needed was mercy and help. He needed resources to provide for himself and sat at the ‘Beautiful’ gate hoping to receive the mercy of those passing by. Undoubtedly, he was well known. The people knew him, saw him often and likely passed right by him… “Just another beggar!” Yet Peter and John do something profound—they grant him mercy, though not in coins. They heal him. They give him a greater gift than a couple of coins, they give him attention and the power of God to heal. What a beautiful sight it must have been to see the lowly beggar at the ‘Beautiful’ gate be healed! In fact, it filled the people with wonder and awe—responses that arise from the heart!