"Such as I have"

Peter's reply to the lame man asking alms of him and John "at the Beautiful gate of the temple," as they went up to pray, contains a valuable message for all who will give heed. "Silver and gold have I none," declared the disciple sometimes called impetuous; "but such as I have give I thee." And then he pronounced those potent words, spoken out of the fullness of his demonstrated understanding: "In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk,"—words which lifted the impotent one out of his crippled condition into a sense of freedom which enabled him to go forth "walking, and leaping, and praising God."

As we ponder this passage, we are impelled to ask ourselves: What did Peter possess which enabled him to bring freedom instantly to one lame from his birth? Was it some miraculous power possessed by this disciple of the Master not common to other men; was it something bestowed upon him by the Nazarene during those fruitful years of discipleship? The answer is found in a succeeding verse, wherein Peter, beset by the crowd wondering at this strange phenomenon, is represented as taking occasion to preach the gospel of Christ Jesus. "And his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong: ... yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all." This explanation seems wholly adequate when it is understood that the Greek word here translated "faith" approximates in meaning the English word "understanding." Peter's faith in Christ Jesus as the demonstrator of God's presence and power enabled him to bring release to him who had been in bondage to a false belief for so many years.

"Such as I have give I thee"! The light shed upon this wonderful story by the teachings of Christian Science makes clear Peter's reasoning and practice. So definite was his understanding of Jesus' mission, so clear was his vision of the Christ and of the perfect, spiritual man, that it was possible for him to perform a marvelous deed, what seemed to be a miracle, but which, in the light of Christian Science, was the logical outcome of the application of spiritual truth. How much greater service Peter rendered the lame man than could possibly have resulted from giving him any amount of alms in terms of silver and gold or any form of materiality! Freedom won through spiritual understanding was indeed a gift from God!

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March 29, 1924

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