Whenever I’m taking a class, listening to a sermon, or someone speaking to me as part of a group, I’ve noticed that I listen differently depending on the subject matter. If I’m interested in what’s being said, I think I pay more attention to the speaker. Like many people, I probably run what’s being said through a filter of how it pertains to me. I’ve often read about this man in Lystra who Paul healed. What did Paul see in the man? The text tells us, “He listened to Paul as he was speaking. Paul looked directly at him, saw that he had faith to be healed” (Acts 14:9 NIV). What I find interesting about this healing is that Paul wasn’t just preaching to this one man. He was preaching to an entire crowd of people, and of the crowd, only this man had the faith to be healed.

Life today, for those with physical handicaps, can be very challenging. I can’t imagine how life would have been almost 2,000 years ago for someone unable to walk from birth. In those days, people often looked at disabilities as a curse from God, or in this case, gods. When Paul talked about Jesus, I know he talked about Jesus’ death, resurrection, the forgiveness of sin, and of God’s healing of body and soul. As Paul expounded on God’s grace and the forgiveness of sin that came by faith, and not works, I can imagine the man listening attentively, and thinking about his life and those around him who worshipped “gods” who did nothing. If anything, people thought he was cursed by them. In any case, the man wouldn’t have felt blessed by his circumstances.

When we listen to other people we filter what’s being said to us by the things we already know. If we think we know what someone is talking about, then we’re less likely to give them our full attention because we think we already know all about it. While other times, the conclusions about what we’ve seen or heard are wrong because they come, not from a place of humility, but a place of pride. I don’t see the man who was born lame as being a proud man. How could he be full of pride when he needed someone to help him get from one point to another? Unlike some people in the crowd, listening to Paul, the man might have been “stuck” there in the square all day until someone came to move him in the evening. This man needed something that only God could offer, and he heard about it through Paul’s message.

I believe the man who was healed listened to Paul from a position of humility which is why he had the faith to believe the gospel message. We know that God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. We also know that faith comes by hearing and hearing the message about Christ. Unlike the crowd around him, who thought Paul and Barnabas were “gods” who had come to them in human form, this man believed the message about Christ and was healed.

Do you know God? God knows you and He loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. No one is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, right now, and He wants you to know Him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so we could be free of guilt, be freed from death, and live eternally with Him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away.

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation today:

Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe You died for my sins and rose from the dead. I turn from my sins and invite You to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You as my Lord and Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment, and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.