I’ve been spending some time in Acts lately. This morning, I was reading about Peter and John:
Acts 3:1-2 NIV
Think about this picture for a minute. There is a person, crippled from birth, begging at a gate called “Beautiful.” Is this not a picture of our society today? Men and women, “broken” from birth, begging for acceptance at an illusive “gate” called “Beautiful.” A gate that promises to lead to happiness and fulfillment, but was built on society’s version of beautiful and often leads only to more emptiness.
It’s easy to think of a young woman with an eating disorder, or a body-builder on steroids, or a woman provocatively dressed to show off her latest plastic surgery, desperately pounding at that gate. But, I’ll be honest. While I haven’t personally worn the exact shoes of those hypothetical people I listed, I’ve done my time at that gate. Truthfully, I’m still occasionally lured back there. You, too? It would be almost impossible not to.
That gate called Beautiful has had billions of dollars pumped into its construction. It’s had the best marketing money can buy. It plays into every one of the senses possessed by broken humans like us, luring us there like flies to honey, making us believe that if we just buy in, we’ll be loved and provided for…we’ll find the wholeness we’re lacking.
Fortunately, a lot of years ago, some passersby met me at that gate, not unlike Peter and John did that crippled beggar:
Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. When all the people saw him walking and praising God, they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him. Acts 3:3-10 NIV
I was offered not the “silver and gold” illusions of the world, but healing in the Name of Jesus Christ; not the emptiness of counterfeit beauty, but the fulfillment of authentic beauty.
While we’re still on this side of glory, the lure of the gate will still be there. But if we’ve had a holy encounter there, we don’t have to linger. Unless, of course, it’s to help another beggar to their feet.
Photo credit: Casperonian
Oh wow! Thank you for the fresh pespective on these verses. I don't think I saw that before but it is reaching me now for sure. I've spend a lot of time and money at that particular gate. I am thankful Jesus came and revealed to me that as a creation made by the hands of my Heavenly Father I am already beautiful. Sweet!
Wonderful post. Thought-provoking. So glad God spoke through you with such insight.
I love reading your blog.
Good words, friend.
It never ceases to amaze me how the Holy Spirit speaks to you when you are in the word and, thankfully, you share it on your blog. It's hard to live in this world and not be part of it. If we take our eyes off Jesus for a second, we find ourselves back at the gate called, Beautiful. Thank you for this insight!! Mom
Beautiful words — so well put.
The gate does call, but the call from Him is much greater.
Precious and beautifully written, as usual!!
BEAUTIFUL post! Thank you so much. I have read that passage many times and never thought about it in this way. Thank you for giving me fresh eyes to God's word to us. I have been at the gate many, many times and appreciate your words.
~ melscoffeebreak.blogspot.com ~
Awesome post…you always make me think…..Have you posted any shower pictures…Love you
Oh, I've done me some time at the gate called "Beautiful". Still do occasionally. Not that it ever made me beautiful, 'cause it promised something that it never delivered.
As long as I'm walking out this life, I think I will be working out the 'beautiful' thing. I am the woman with the eating disorder. Now, however, it drives me straight into the arms of Jesus rather into a starving frenzy.
Love ya, friend,
GREAT GREAT GREAT POST!!!! Love you Melinda!
thanks for this.
Linked here from Malachi Speaks. This is a great story and you've done a wonderful application. I like how you put that we are still "on this side of glory," but we can have a holy encounter. Good job.
What a blessed perspective! Keep allowing our Lord to shine through you. I’m sure you’ve made Him very proud. Be encouraged!