Peter and John go to the temple to pray where they encounter a man lame from birth. Peter heals the man in the name of Jesus Christ and he walks, leaps, and praises God in front of the crowds. But this story isn't just a historical tale; it's a reminder of the transformative power of faith and compassion. Today, as we navigate our own challenges and encounter those in need around us, let's remember that the Holy Spirit is also at work through us. Let us be willing to offer what we have, whether it's material resources or simply our time and care, trusting in the power of love and the name of Jesus to bring about healing and restoration in our world.

Renee Bennett

In The Name Of Jesus

Power of the Holy Spirit
Acts 3:1-10
April 14, 2024
Peter and John go to the temple to pray where they encounter a man lame from birth. Peter heals the man in the name of Jesus Christ and he walks, leaps, and praises God in front of the crowds. But this story isn't just a historical tale; it's a reminder of the transformative power of faith and compassion. Today, as we navigate our own challenges and encounter those in need around us, let's remember that the Holy Spirit is also at work through us. Let us be willing to offer what we have, whether it's material resources or simply our time and care, trusting in the power of love and the name of Jesus to bring about healing and restoration in our world.

There is healing in the name of Jesus. Did you hear about the guy who went to a healing service at church? He said it was so bad that even a guy in a wheelchair got up and walked out. Healing. When we think of the word healing, it can bring a lot of baggage, if we’re honest. I mean, the world’s filled with problems, right? And there’s suffering everywhere. And We might find ourselves questioning, well, why doesn’t Jesus just heal everybody? And for that matter, why didn’t Jesus heal everyone while he was here? Do you ever think about this? In our sermon series, we said we’re going to talk about the power of the Holy Spirit. But as I said in the greeting, this is not a topic that we Lutherans. Talk a lot about. I mean, what is the Holy Spirit even have to do with healing? And what is healing even look like? So this morning, I’m going to ask that we just sort of prayerfully together try to unpack what healing can look like.

You know the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Was not the end, it was actually the beginning. And we are resurrection people. And as Pastor Todd told you in his sermon last week, he said that when Jesus ascended, he gave the power of the Holy Spirit to his disciples permanently. And they were to go into Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth to spread his gospel message. And guess what? That means us too. What was he thinking? Let’s go ahead and let’s open our Bibles to Acts chapter 3 and we’re going to read verses 1 through 10. Now, Peter and John were going up to the temple. at the ninth hour, the hour of prayer. And a man who had been lame from his mother’s womb was being carried along, whom they used to set down every day at the gate of the temple, which is called the beautiful. And this was in order to beg alms of those who were entering the temple. When he saw Peter and John go into the temple, he began to ask them to receive alms. But Peter, along with John, fixed his gaze on him and he said, look at us. And he began to give them his attention, expecting to receive something from them. But Peter said, I don’t possess silver and gold, but what I do have, I will give to you in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. And seizing him by the right hand. He raised him up and immediately his feet and his ankles were strengthened with a leap. He stood upright and he began to walk and he entered the temple with them walking and leaping and praising God.

All the people saw him walking and praising God and they were taking note of him as being the one who used to sit at the beautiful gate of the temple to beg alms. And they were all filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him. This is the Word of the Lord. Will you please join me in prayer? Good and gracious God, help us to be used by you as your disciples and to go out into the world as you have commanded. We are your sheep. Help us to hear your voice and to obey your will. There is healing in your name and you do your work through us. Grace to you and peace from our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen. In 2012, I was youth director and I was part of a team that took 48 youth and adults to New Orleans as part of the National Youth Gathering. And on our last evening in New Orleans, some of us were in an area called Jackson Square. One of my kiddos noticed a homeless woman that was sitting not too far off from us. Let me describe this woman’s brokenness. She was dirty. She was smelly. She had no shoes. It was about 90 degrees with 90 percent humidity, you know, a typical New Orleans day. Sweat poured off of her because every bit of clothing that she owned she was wearing. Everything else was in a plastic bag. All her worldly possessions. She was mumbling to herself. Her hair was messy and matted. Her hands were gnarled and her nails were broken and chipped. One by one, my kiddos approached her and started talking to her. Within mere minutes, this one was surrounded by a bunch of teenage girls. One brushed her hair. One gave her the shoes off their feet.

One gave her their backpack. One their cross necklace. And one their Bible. They spoke to her and they listened to her story. Then we all held hands and we prayed over her. And you guys, I have to tell you, it was one of the most beautiful things I have ever witnessed. They gave her no money. What they gave her was worth so much more. They brought Christ’s love. They brought the name of Jesus and this woman. By the name of Jesus was brought out of her brokenness and she heard the life saving promise of Christ’s love and forgiveness. She was healed that day, spiritually. The woman’s name was Sandy, and as we all hugged Sandy goodbye, she called me over and she said, until this day. No one has ever seen me before. Thousands of people have walked by me here in Jackson square, but until this day, no one has seen me as the beloved daughter of God. Sandy was changed forever. Now I know had she physically been able, she would have been leaping for joy. But I could see the joy all over her beautiful face.

She received an unexpected healing, and it wasn’t from us. It was healing from the Holy Spirit, and He just decided to deliver it with a bunch of teenage girls. Now, our gospel story today of a lame man. I just think this is such a wonderful story of healing in the name of Jesus, isn’t it? And the healing came in a way that was really unexpected. Just like Sandy’s healing in Jackson Square was unexpected. Now the story takes place in the book of Acts and it’s at the temple in Jerusalem at the entrance called the beautiful gate and I think we have an image of the beautiful gate Or we can just imagine, oh, there it is. So, these gates are called the Beautiful Gates. And they’re sealed now. They were actually sealed in 1541 by Solomon the Magnificent. He was the leader of the Ottoman Empire. But, just imagine these gates being open. These gates face the Mount of Olives. And this is where they would have entered. Now, Now, Luke is a really detailed author, which is why I love him. And so he’s very descriptive about what he says happens here. And he says that hundreds, if not thousands of people would have been entering through this gate on their way to pray every day.

And in Judaism, there’s three specific times a day to pray. There’s nine in the morning, there’s noon, and there’s 3 p. m., which is the ninth hour. And so, at the ninth hour, this is where this takes place, three in the afternoon, so this crippled man was known to worshippers visiting the temple. He’s gonna hang out here every single day. Luke tells us that he’s been crippled since birth, and so his friends bring him here, and this is where he begs for alms. Now, I know in Western culture, we have kind of a, a weird sort of feeling about begging. But in Judaism, it’s considered a form of righteousness to give to the poor. So it’s actually very smart that this lame man is planted at the beautiful gate because the expectation would be that if you are coming to pray during those appointed hours, you worship God, you’re seeking righteousness, you’re going to give me alms. So, Luke tells us that the man looks directly at Peter and John as they walk by him because he expects them to give him something. Now do you think he knew that they were followers of Jesus? Probably not. He doesn’t get out much, but he does think that because they’re there, they’re going to give him alms. So, that’s the healing that he’s expecting, isn’t it? He was expecting that his healing would come in the form of money. And it tells us that Peter and John actually looked directly at him. They say, look at us. And then, they tell him, but we don’t have any money. Can you imagine the look on that man’s face when he heard this? Was it a look of disappointment? Was it anger or disgust? In one statement, Peter has just dashed this man’s dreams of getting food and shelter and clothing. This was the expected healing the man thought he wanted.

What Peter offered this man instead in the name of Jesus was way more valuable than silver or gold. It was life changing. Peter said, in the name of Jesus Christ, walk. Now Peter and John were really clear about whose power would cause this man to walk. It was power in the name of Jesus that healed this man. It wasn’t a magic formula that Peter proclaimed. It was the simple recognition that if any healing was to take place that day, it was because of who Jesus is, not because of who Peter is. Salvation comes in the name of Jesus. Now get, oh I almost fell backwards. I might have needed some healing there. So are you guys ready? Okay, that was a good one. So what I was going to tell you is that Luke gives us this detail, Lenny’s like, I gotcha, I gotcha. He’s so ready, he went like this. So Luke tells us that John reaches down, Peter reaches down and grabs the right hand of the lame man. Now, no offense to all of our South paws here, but the right hand represents the power and strength of God.

So in that little detail, he says he grabs the right hand and then all of a sudden strength went to his ankles and to his feet, and so we know again, that was through the power of God. Now, this was certainly not the healing this man had expected. Or that he even knew to ask for. So what was the response of this man who had not been able to walk his entire life? Was it, well, why didn’t you heal me the way I was looking for? Why didn’t you give me money? He responded with unbelievable gratitude. He literally jumped to his feet. Can you imagine? This man who has never so much as crawled a day in his life responds ecstatically. Luke Acts chapter 3 verses 8 through 10 says, he jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping and praising God. And when all the people saw him walking and praising God, they recognized him. That’s the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful. And they were all filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.

I got to say, it’s, it’s, I question who was more shocked, the guy who was healed or everybody who saw it happen, like, hey, isn’t this the guy that we have sent here? Now, Luke actually tells us this man is 40 years old, which is really old for back then. And so, you know, who knows for how many years they’ve seen him sitting there. Okay, are we shocked? We should not be shocked. This is what we are called to do. Mark chapter 16 verse 18 quotes Jesus and he says, in my name, they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover. Well, the story doesn’t end here. Luke tells us just a couple of lines later that while the beggar held on to Peter and John, all the people were astonished. And they came running to them to a place called Solomon’s Colonnade. Now, we know the temple got destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD, but I do have an image, if we have it. If not, you can just imagine. Oh, there we go. Okay, so this is an image of what the top of the temple used to look like. Solomon’s Colonnade runs around the outside of the temple, and it’s a covered porch. So they went in, bottom right hand side, through the eastern gate. And this is where Jesus used to often teach. It’s a perfect place. If you can think of this big covered porch and people are coming and going all the time. And so Peter sees everybody kind of congregating around this man and typical Peter fashion doesn’t men’s words.

He says men of Israel. Why does this surprise you? It’s like come on people. Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness, we made this man walk? It’s by faith in the name of Jesus that this man you see here and know was made strong is Jesus’s name and the faith that comes through him that has given this man complete healing as you see. So this is really important to remember. Healing doesn’t happen because of how good we are at the law. Healing actually has nothing to do with us. It has everything to do with Jesus and who he is. All right, we’re back to that question, healing. What comes to mind when you think of healing? Do you think of televangelists, Pentecostal services, maybe the laying on of hands? I mean, what does healing even mean? We know people came to Jesus and they were seeking physical healing, but this actually wasn’t the type of healing they were looking for. They just didn’t know it. Jesus shows up to give you something that you’re searching for, maybe, or maybe you’re not searching for, but it’s what you really, really need. Healing isn’t always delivered in the way that’s expected, but it’s always the healing that’s needed in the name of Jesus. A good definition of healing.

It’s to restore back to the original condition. To restore someone back to their original condition means to offer Christ’s forgiveness, which literally sets them free. And the church is commanded to do what Peter and John did. Matthew 10, eight says, go out into the world, tell them. the kingdom of God, heal the sick, cast out demons, spiritual, emotional, and physical healing are among God’s most potent weapons given to us in the name of Jesus. Not all healings, though, are met with hallelujahs. In fact, Peter and John are thrown into jail for this healing. Yep. Why? Well, the leaders were followers of the law, and they looked for their healing by being really good at the law. They thought they could earn their salvation by being good, not just at the top 10. That’s good enough for us. No, 613 laws. But before you’re like, oh, those darn leaders. We have to admit that we’re sometimes like this too. We’re skeptical of healing in the name of Jesus. Jewish leaders were not thrilled. They did not see this miracle as a reason to celebrate. Since they didn’t understand it, they felt threatened by it.

Peter and John are dragged before the leaders dragged before Caiaphas and he says to them, by what power or authority did you do this healing? Gotta love Peter. Peter responds, it was by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth that this man was healed. And then Peter boldly claims, Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men from which we must be saved. So, you guys have all been healed. Do you keep the story of what God has done in your life under wraps? Or do you shout it from the rooftop? The Bible tells us that this particular healing scene, it did not go unnoticed. In fact, that day, believers grew to about 5, 000 men, and that does not include the women and children. Peter and John commanded healing by faith in the name of Jesus to a lame man. So, on that day, the voice of God sounded like Peter. Until the voice of God through the life giving power of Jesus brought new life, that lame man was helpless and hopeless. To Sandy in Jackson Square on that day, the healing voice of God sounded like a bunch of teenage girls. So, are you skeptical, or are you convicted? Do you believe in the healing power in the name of Jesus? Are you more like the Sadducees who think that healing needs to come through doing something really good in the law? Or are you more like this crippled man who shouted for joy over his unexpected healing?

There is healing in the name of Jesus. Sometimes physical, sometimes emotional, always spiritual. Healing comes in different shapes and different forms. Sometimes God gives you healing you didn’t even know you were looking for. Without the healing word of Jesus, you guys, we’re all lame. We’re all broken. And we’re all homeless because without his healing, we have no eternal home. Without healing, we’re actually all condemned to death for our sins. But you have received this healing. Yes, you have received this healing. And we’re called to spread this news of our healing and healing in the name of Jesus to the ends of the earth. So, I ask you again, what does the voice of God’s healing sounds like to you? In my experience, God’s voice of healing sounds like a bunch of teenage girls loving on a homeless woman. What does this voice sound like to you? Let’s pray.

Dear God, you have chosen us to bring healing to a broken world. Through the power of your name, there is life giving salvation. You work through us to bring this news to the world. We seek your healing and mind, body and spirit. We know that the healing that you bring may not always be the healing people are looking for, but it’s absolutely the healing that we need. We thank you for your son who died for our sins so that we may one day spend eternity with you. Help us to not be skeptical, but to hold on to this promise that comes only through the power of your name. Amen.

MORE FROM THIS SERIES:

SEARCH ALL SERMONS

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19

ALL SERMON SERIES

Follow Jesus

Whether you are new in faith or are seeking to deepen your walk with Jesus, we are eager to connect with you.

Don’t hesitate to reach us out at (480) 830-5024, or message us filling the form below.

GriefShare

The GriefShare Program is a 13-week series of videos that we watch each week of the meeting. Each weekly GriefShare group begins with a 30-minute video featuring respected experts on grief-related topics and helpful stories from people who have experienced loss. Their insights will help you manage your emotions, gain clarity, and find answers to your questions as you walk through the grief process. We welcome everyone who has a loss; whether it be a child or a parent or spouse.

The videos are followed by discussion. Talking with other people who understand what you’re experiencing brings great comfort, normalizes the grief experience, and offers a supportive environment to work through your grief.

Each session stands alone, so you can join anytime. Consider a single session to learn about the program.

We meet every Monday from 12:30-2:30pm here at Victory.
Check out the schedule.

Sign up today!

Do you have more questions? 
Don’t hesitate to reach us out at (480) 830-5024, or message us filling the form below.
Learn more about GriefShare at their webpage: www.griefshare.org.

WOMEN’S MINISTRY

We meet throughout the year on the 2nd Tuesday of the month for Bible Study.

Summer Schedule (May-Sept): 2nd Tuesday of the month all groups meet together on campus at 9:30am

Winter Schedule (Oct-April): 2nd Tuesday of the month

Esperanza Bible Study – 9:30am

Mary Bible Study – 1:30pm (in home)


Women’s Ministry

PURPOSE STATEMENT

As a community of women created in the image of God, called to discipleship in Jesus Christ, and empowered by the Holy Spirit, we commit ourselves to grow in faith, affirm our gifts,  support one another in our callings, engage in ministry and action, and promote healing and wholeness in the church, the society, and the world.

We meet throughout the year on the 2nd Tuesday of the month for Bible Study:

Summer Schedule (May-Sept)

2nd Tuesday of the month all groups meet together on campus at 9:30 am.

Winter Schedule (Oct-April)

  • 2nd Tuesday of the month
  • Esperanza Bible Study - 9:30am
  • Naomi Bible Study - 2:00 pm
  • Mary Bible Study - 1:30 pm (in-home)
  • Women’s Ministry

    PURPOSE STATEMENT

    As a community of women created in the image of God, called to discipleship in Jesus Christ, and empowered by the Holy Spirit, we commit ourselves to grow in faith, affirm our gifts,  support one another in our callings, engage in ministry and action, and promote healing and wholeness in the church, the society, and the world.

    We meet throughout the year on the 2nd Tuesday of the month for Bible Study:

    Summer Schedule (May-Sept)

    2nd Tuesday of the month all groups meet together on campus at 9:30 am.

    Winter Schedule (Oct-April)

  • 2nd Tuesday of the month
  • Esperanza Bible Study - 9:30am
  • Naomi Bible Study - 2:00 pm
  • Mary Bible Study - 1:30 pm (in-home)
  • Stephen Ministry

    Stephen Ministry equips lay people to provide confidential one-to-one Christian care to individuals in our congregation and community who are experiencing a difficult time in life, such as grief, divorce, job loss, chronic or terminal illness, or relocation.

    Stephen Ministers are trained by their congregation’s Stephen Leaders using resources from Stephen Ministries St. Louis. The training they receive in the congregation equips them to provide high-quality care to people who are hurting.

    Care receivers are individuals in the congregation or community who are going through a crisis or life difficulty. Potential care receivers first meet with a pastor or Stephen Leader, who assesses their needs for care and matches them with a Stephen Minister.

    After being matched with a person experiencing a life crisis, the Stephen Minister meets with that person on a weekly basis for about an hour to listen, care, encourage, and provide emotional and spiritual support. The caring relationship lasts as long as the need for care exists.

    “Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2, NRSV)

    FAMILY PROMISE

    Four times a year we host families experiencing homelessness at Victory for a week at a time. Volunteers needed to set up rooms, preparing a meal, serve/clean-up dinner or stay as an overnight host.

    Upcoming Host Weeks: April 16-23, 2023 & November 112-19, 2023

    STEPHEN MINISTRY

    Stephen Ministers are lay congregation members trained to provide one-to-one care to those experiencing a difficult time in life. 

    GRIEFSHARE

    A grief recovery support group where you can find help and healing for the hurt of losing a loved one.

    13-week Program: Mondays, 12:30-2:30pm, February 13-May 8, 2023
    (No meeting April 10th)
    GriefShare.org

    LSS-SW

    Lutheran Social Services of the Southwest (LSS-SW)

    I-HELP PROGRAM: We provide a safe and secure place for women who are currently experiencing homelessness the 2nd & 4th Thursday of the month.

    FOOD PANTRY: Food boxes distributed Mondays & Wednesdays, 9:00-11:30am.
    Utility & rental assistance by appointment only 480-654-4539.

    Victory Quilters

    We meet the 3rd Tuesday and Wednesday of the month at 8:30am. Come when you can, stay as long as you can; everyone can cut, sew, pin and tie knots. You do not need to be a church or circle member to attend. Bring a friend! The quilts are donated to Navajo Lutheran Mission, Orchard: Africa and Lutheran Social Ministries. We typically break for the summer. Please check schedule.

    MUSIC MINISTRY

    Ensembles at Victory practice weekly during the high season to prepare for weekly worship and special events. In addition, many people share their talents individually. Click here for our concert line-up!

    NAVAJO LUTHERAN MISSION

    Serving the Navajo community of Rock Point, AZ, a remote, isolated village near the Four Corners. The Mission campus includes a K-2 private Christian school, clinic, cultural center, water project and food bank.  (nelm.org)

    FAIR TRADE

    Victory Women support Lutheran World Relief (lwr.org) by selling Fair Trade hand-made crafts, jewelry, coffee and tea that generates income for small-scale businesses in third world countries. 

    OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD

    A “shoebox ministry” of Samaritan’s Purse, delivering gift-filled shoeboxes to boys and girls around the world.

    ORCHARD: AFRICA

    To equip the church to respond to poverty & injustice, thereby caring for the vulnerable using four programs: Food & Agriculture, Care, Education and Ministry.  (orchardafrica.org)

    Stephen Ministry

    Stephen Ministry equips lay people to provide confidential one-to-one Christian care to individuals in our congregation and community who are experiencing a difficult time in life, such as grief, divorce, job loss, chronic or terminal illness, or relocation.

    Stephen Ministers are trained by their congregation’s Stephen Leaders using resources from Stephen Ministries St. Louis. The training they receive in the congregation equips them to provide high-quality care to people who are hurting.

    Care receivers are individuals in the congregation or community who are going through a crisis or life difficulty. Potential care receivers first meet with a pastor or Stephen Leader, who assesses their needs for care and matches them with a Stephen Minister.

    After being matched with a person experiencing a life crisis, the Stephen Minister meets with that person on a weekly basis for about an hour to listen, care, encourage, and provide emotional and spiritual support. The caring relationship lasts as long as the need for care exists.

    “Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2, NRSV)

    WOMEN’S MINISTRY

    Welcome to the vibrant women’s ministry at Victory Lutheran Church! As a community of women created in the image of God, called to discipleship in Jesus Christ, and empowered by the Holy Spirit, we are committed to growing in faith, affirming our gifts, and supporting one another in our callings. Our purpose is to engage in ministry and action, promoting healing and wholeness in the church, society, and the world. At Victory Lutheran Church, our women’s ministry provides a nurturing and empowering space for women of all ages to connect, grow, and serve together. Through uplifting worship, inspiring Bible studies, enriching events, and impactful service opportunities, we equip women to live out their God-given purpose and embrace their unique gifts. Join us as we journey together, fostering fellowship, spiritual growth, and making a lasting impact within our church, our families, and our wider community.

    PURPOSE STATEMENT

    As a community of women created in the image of God, called to discipleship in Jesus Christ,  and empowered by the Holy Spirit, we commit ourselves to grow in faith, affirm our gifts,  support one another in our callings, engage in ministry and action, and promote healing and wholeness in the church, the society, and the world.

    We meet throughout the year on the 2nd Tuesday of the month for Bible Study:

    Summer Schedule (May-Sept)

    2nd Tuesday of the month all groups meet together on campus at 9:30am.

    Winter Schedule (Oct-April)

    • 2nd Tuesday of the month
    • Esperanza Bible Study – 9:30am
    • Naomi Bible Study – 2:00pm
    • Mary Bible Study – 1:30pm (in home)