One day at three o'clock in the afternoon, Peter and John were on their way into the Temple for prayer meeting.
At the same time there was a man crippled from birth being carried up. Every day he was set down at the Temple gate, the one named Beautiful, to beg from those going into the Temple.
When he saw Peter and John about to enter the Temple, he asked for a handout.
Peter, with John at his side, looked him straight in the eye and said, "Look here."
He looked up, expecting to get something from them.
Peter said, "I don't have a nickel to my name, but what I do have, I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk!"
He grabbed him by the right hand and pulled him up. In an instant his feet and ankles became firm.
He jumped to his feet and walked.
Everybody there saw him walking around and praising God.
They recognized him as the one who sat begging at the Temple's Gate Beautiful and rubbed their eyes, astonished, scarcely believing what they were seeing.
The man threw his arms around Peter and John, ecstatic. All the people ran up to where they were at Solomon's Porch to see it for themselves.
When Peter saw he had a congregation, he addressed the people:
The God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, the God of our ancestors, has glorified his Son Jesus. The very One that Pilate called innocent, you repudiated.
You repudiated the Holy One, the Just One, and asked for a murderer in his place.
You no sooner killed the Author of Life than God raised him from the dead - and we're the witnesses.
Faith in Jesus' name put this man, whose condition you know so well, on his feet - yes, faith and nothing but faith put this man healed and whole right before your eyes.
"And now, friends, I know you had no idea what you were doing when you killed Jesus, and neither did your leaders.
But God, who through the preaching of all the prophets had said all along that his Messiah would be killed, knew exactly what you were doing and used it to fulfill his plans.
"Now it's time to change your ways! Turn to face God so he can wipe away your sins, pour out showers of blessing to refresh you,
and send you the Messiah he prepared for you, namely, Jesus.
For the time being he must remain out of sight in heaven until everything is restored to order again just the way God, through the preaching of his holy prophets of old, said it would be.
Moses, for instance, said, 'Your God will raise up for you a prophet just like me from your family. Listen to every word he speaks to you.
Every last living soul who refuses to listen to that prophet will be wiped out from the people.'
"All the prophets from Samuel on down said the same thing, said most emphatically that these days would come.
These prophets, along with the covenant God made with your ancestors, are your family tree. God's covenant-word to Abraham provides the text: 'By your offspring all the families of the earth will be blessed.'
But you are first in line: God, having raised up his Son, sent him to bless you as you turn, one by one, from your evil ways."
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)