This Bible study about the healing of a paralysed beggar by Peter and John corresponds with the theme on miraculous healings of disabled persons in the Synoptic Gospels and Acts. Here the disciples are in action, while the examples from Mark and Matthew refer to Jesus' ministry. We are trying to determine how the miraculous healings can assist us in developing a Biblical outlook on disability. The idea is to develop understanding and insight regarding the reality of disability in our modern society, and to establish an attitude towards life that would embrace disability as an integral part of our human condition.
1 Challenges for people with disabilities today 1.1 At times one wonders about the causes of human disabilities.
The beggar in Acts 3 started life being paralysed. Have you given a thought as to what could possibly have caused it?
Perhaps you yourself have a disability or you are acquainted with a disabled person. Share with your group how you are related and what the cause of his / her disability is.
Are persons with disabilities seen as equals by the non-disabled? How do you experience this?
3 Notes on Acts for further reflection Luke reports in Acts how the Jesus message spread, how the Church was established and how the Risen Lord inspired faith through the power of the Holy Spirit. The miraculous healing of the paralysed man followed shortly after the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and the establishment of the Church.
Acts 3:1 - 4:31 is regarded as another description of the establishment of the Church, also because this part ends with the filling with the Holy Spirit. The performance of miracles is seen by various scholars as necessary for that particular time period. It was necessary as a guarantee of the truth and the power of the Gospel message. They also explain why miracles so readily formed part of peoples' lives at that time. It was the time when the apostles lived in an intimate relationship with Jesus and there existed a faith-filled expectancy. The miracle was performed in Jesus' Name referring to His authority and power. Miracles do still happen today.
The paralysed man is pictured as a helpless person. But he receives healing as soon as Jesus' Name is pronounced.
The miraculous healing takes place as Peter and John look at him, grabs his hand and orders him to walk in the name of Jesus.
To what extent are today's Christian communities (congregations) prepared and ready to welcome and accommodate persons with disability? Give your opinion on this.