Then Peter opened [his] mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons. Acts 10:34
When the angels announced the birth of the Christ (the anointed One) they did not go to the palaces of kings, nor the homes of the social elite, but they went first to a hillside where a group of shepherds were “tending their flocks by night.” And, as we know, there where also three very wise and wealthy men from a far off country that “saw the star” and proceeded to find the Christ Child to worship Him. But, the first announcement was to the shepherds whom some would have considered to be the social outcasts of their day.
Without a welfare state to fall back on, or unemployment benefits to be had, shepherds were usually those people who could not find any other type of work. As a result, they were often looked down upon as being just one step up from a beggar. So why did God reach out to shepherds and wise men virtually at the same time? I believe that He was demonstrating that He was “no respecter of persons” and that this “Good News” was for any and everyone regardless of their social standing.
When Peter and John walked together to the temple and encountered the lame beggar asking for alms in Acts chapter three, not only did they give what they had to the man, which was healing, but they also gave him something else, “the right hand of fellowship.” Don’t you just love how seemingly inconsequential details in Scripture just have a way of jumping out at you when the Holy Spirit shines His light on something? Notice what is said in Acts 3:7, “And he took him by the right hand and lifted [him] up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.”
It was not enough for us just to know that they took this man by the hand and “lifted him up,” but this verse makes it clear that they took him by the “right hand.” Just like the shepherds on the hillside that received the announcement of the “Good News” by the angels, God wanted to show us in this very first miracle after the “Day of Pentecost” that this outpouring of the Holy Spirit and the miraculous power that comes from it, is for everyone, regardless of your social standing. According to the Greek definition, to give someone the “right hand” was to denote that you were giving them a “place of honour or authority.”
Paul said that Jesus is seated at the “Fathers right hand,” and “we are seated with Christ in heavenly places,” and “as He is, so are we in this wold.” All of this was made possible through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross and Peter and John were letting this beggar know that in God’s eyes that’s how he was seen too.
You see, you don’t have to be the most socially connected, or have the right pedigree, or anything else for that matter. All you need is faith and expectation to receive your miracle and breakthrough from your loving and caring Heavenly Father, because as a believer in Jesus, God has given you the “right hand of fellowship” too.
Today’s Thought: Regardless of our current condition or circumstances, the “Good News” is for all.