Two kinds of people on the street

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Christpoint Church - By Steve Qualls

In a few weeks, we will experience the returning days of the summer sun. For some, it’s a welcome sight. For others, who like the colder weather, these coming days may not be so welcoming. I personally am one of those people who fits well into the long sunny days of summer. I like options, clear days and warm evening, and, yes, I like long walks on the beach. But I think we can all agree that in those hottest of days when the sun seems to bake the skin rather than warm it, it’s always refreshing to find shelter in the cool of the shadows. A shadow is not the image itself, but it is the silhouette that is cast because of the sun’s rays. In short, shadows are proof the tangible image really exist.

In the book of Acts chapter 5, a once impetuous fisherman named Peter now walks through the streets as a minister of Christ. As he does, people come out of their homes to bring the sick of their community by, laying them on cots and mats along the road side, believing the shadow of Peter cast upon them would heal as he passed by.

Now verse 15 details only one side of the story concerning the apostle Peter and his shadow and that is that of the people. First, they believed Peter to be filled with the presence of God. Two, they believed in God’s healing power. Three, they acted positively concerning their convictions. But there still remains a question to ask and seek an answer for and that is, “Did his shadow actually heal?” Verse 15 doesn’t indicate the people were healed; it only says they assembled. Some scholars have longed believed that the mere shadow of a man could not heal a person. Some have mentioned that to lay by the roadside hoping for a sunny day would be random in whether a person received healing or not. What if it was cloudy, rain drenched ,or high noon? Would conditions have to be perfect if such an event was possible at all?

I think going forward to verse 16 allows us to project backward to verse 15 shedding light on the power in the shadow. Verse 15 reads - so that they even carried out the sick into the streets and laid them on cots and mats, that as Peter came by at least his shadow might fall on some of them. And in verse 16 -The people also gathered from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing the sick and those afflicted with unclean spirits, and they were all healed. Verse 16 says that people came from all around the area, and they brought their sick and afflicted, and they were healed. There are two words in verse 16 that empowers and validates the account in verse 15 and those are “also” and “all.” They “also brought” implies “in addition to,” which connects verse 15 with verse 16 and then ends with “they were all healed.” “In addition” to laying their sick family members and friends by the road they “also” brought them from other places and they were “all” healed.

So can a shadow cast from an image of man possess enough Godly presence to heal the people it shades? I think the answer lies in the source of light. The sun creates a shadow, which, in turn, provides refreshing shade during a time of intense heat. Jesus said of himself that he was the light of the world. If we seek enough exposure to the light, then yes I believe according to Acts chapter 5 that the man Peter could live so close to the SON that his image on the ground could heal multitudes of individuals. But the condition for power doesn’t lie in the individual’s natural ability. It simply resides in his hunger for Jesus. How many can possess this type of power?  Everyone. How many actually are willing to give what it takes to live it? Very few.

The next time you see your own shadow or rest in the shade of a large tree on a hot summer day remember how powerful the presence of Jesus can be in our lives, if we will choose to get close enough. My question to you would be, of the two individuals on the street that day, which would you wish to be: the one lying on a mat seeking shade or the one in power walking the street? Anyone can be ordinary. Multitudes live on mats beside the roads every day. Choose to be extraordinary. Get out of the boat and walk the streets for Jesus.

We are Christpoint Church, and we are back to normal service times at 9:15 a.m. and 11 a.m. this Sunday morning. We’re on the square in Sparta, and we are real people, living real lives, serving a real God. Welcome home.

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