In Acts 3 we see Peter and John run into a man who has been crippled since birth and because of his suffering he is forced to beg. Why is this man crippled? Perhaps the bigger question is Why is there suffering like this in the world? Because of sin (our rebellion against God that leads to death). Like a virus, sin has infected and affected everything in this world. What hope is there for those who suffer? Tremendous hope! Because Jesus suffered on the cross and resurrected as the conqueror of sin, he can physically heal you now (as he healed the lame man in verses 6-7), he will physically heal you one day, and he will spiritually begin to heal you now and perfect you one day in his presence. Why does God allow suffering? At least one reason is that our suffering in this life serves to maximize our eternal joy with Jesus! Because of Jesus, one day everything sad will come untrue and it will somehow be better for having been broken and lost.
Acts 3:1-10 Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. 2 And a man lame from birth was being carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple that is called the Beautiful Gate to ask alms of those entering the temple. 3 Seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked to receive alms. 4 And Peter directed his gaze at him, as did John, and said, “Look at us.” 5 And he fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them. 6 But Peter said, “I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!” 7 And he took him by the right hand and raised him up, and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong. 8 And leaping up he stood and began to walk, and entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. 9 And all the people saw him walking and praising God, 10 and recognized him as the one who sat at the Beautiful Gate of the temple, asking for alms. And they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.
1. Was there anything from Sunday’s Sermon or the Big Idea that had an affect on you or was new? Did you hear anything that raised more questions in your mind?
2. What stands out to you in Acts 3:1-10 and why?
3. In what ways have you moralized or minimized suffering?
4. How is the suffering you have experienced (or are you currently experiencing) serving to maximize your eternal joy in Jesus?
5. Spend time being honest about your suffering and asking those in your Community Group to pray for healing. *This could be physical, emotional, relational, or spiritual
Your suffering is not meaningless! By God’s grace your present suffering, no matter what it is, is somehow preparing you for an eternal weight of glory and joy beyond all comparison. Why? Jesus suffered for sinners so that one day sinners would be freed from suffering. Take heart, Jesus has won.
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- Pastor Brett’s Sermon Notes for Acts 3-1-10 PDF
- Community Group Discussion 10.1-3.13 PDF