What a history these Jews have. After the walls are rebuilt and genealogies are taken, the people are gathered for Ezra to read the law.
These people have been in captivity in Babylon all of their lives, so they have never had any personal experience in the Promised Land. Yet it shows how the traditions have been passed on from generation to generation.
These have heard from their parents and grandparents about the wonderful land they left behind. They have heard the age-old stories about how God had called their ancestor Abraham, and how He had led them all of those years – through Egyptian bondage to the wilderness and to the Promised Land. They recognize themselves as God’s covenant people -who have always had His mercy and favor, but who have not been faithful to Him.
By pulling out the law for all to hear – and by enumerating in detail all of the years of God’s dealings with them, these people are committing their lives back to their one true God.
In the middle of these events, they have a tremendous day of celebration. In fact, the edict goes out that no one is to be grieved or sorrowful that day. It is a Holy day to the Lord, and everyone must eat, drink celebrate with joy.
Today there are those who are being called by the Lord to wake up and restore the age-old dealings the Lord has had with us. We do it the same way they did. We take out the Word of God, dust it off, and read, read, read.
Within the pages of our Bible there is a history and a promise to all who will walk with Him. Not every one is interested in such a walk, but some people are.
I want to be counted with those who are wiling to do just that. Now our Bible contains much more than theirs did in Nehemiah. Now ours contains the New Testament – with the completed work of Jesus on the cross, the Holy Spirit now living within us, and a fresh new vision from God – for all men everywhere who desire to be His.
As we read, we always see more of the mystery being revealed. We see more of what our covenant entails – and more of our mission from our Father.
We get energized and encouraged to run the race with vigor and determination, always keeping our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. (Hebrews 12:1-2).
A lame man, who has been set down at the gate of the temple every day so that he could beg alms, must have seen Jesus many times. Our savior went by that way as He taught in the temple and healed many others. For some reason, Jesus never healed this man. Obviously, the man never asked to be healed, but I think there was another reason. I think that Jesus was saving this notable miracle for His disciples.
So what happens here? He doesn’t ask to be healed, he wants Peter and John to give him alms.
But Peter gazes at him and says, “I do not possess gold and silver, but what I do have, I’ll give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, rise and walk.”(V. 6)
The man, who has been lame from birth, gets up and begins to walk, leap, and praise God for his healing.
Then, of course, the transformed Peter can’t help himself. He stands up again and preaches to the gathered crowd – once again proving the scriptures about God’s mighty deliverance through Jesus.
Peter and John are acting just like Jesus Himself. These transformed men are sights to behold! This Holy Spirit they have just received must really be something!