Common thought infers that the man at the Beautiful Gate had twisted or deformed limbs. Who really knows? He could just as easily had perfectly formed ankles and feet, with no strength or muscular stamina that allowed them to function. Scripture does record that at his moment of healing, “his feet and ankle bones received strength” (Acts 3:7). This could imply the possibility of acceptable form without obvious function. At the end of the day, even if his legs looked normal, he was lame. He was lame in his legs, as well as in his life.
Does that describe you?
You look good, but you’re lame.
You have the form, but you’re weak.
You’re going through the motions, but your motions aren’t getting you anywhere. You have …
- Lame intentions and lame living.
- Lame excuses and lame results.
- Nothing to stand on.
- No foundation to support you.
- So many limits brought on by so much lameness.
You’ve dragged yourself from one gate to the next, looking for the next “handout,” when the real answer lies in a heaven-sent “hand-up.”
The Beggar’s Limits
How much can a lame man do when the limits of crippled existence have been placed on him?
Life’s limits are chains that bind one’s soul to frustration and hopelessness. The man at the Beautiful Gate was constrained and contained. He could travel only so far and reach only so high. His future was as bleak as his past.
According to Levitical law, he was not even permitted to go inside the Temple due to his infirm condition (Leviticus 21:17-24). He would always get just as close as possible by sitting at the gate. There, he could possibly hear the music, the prayers, or even the exhortations that came from the priests. Most important, he placed himself in the path of those coming and going to worship, hoping to receive some financial benevolence.
In some respects, he found himself on a leash—mentally, spiritually, and in many regards, physically. The length of his leash put him in sight and hearing distance of his deliverance, but this resulted in limited faith.