“Now Peter and John went up together to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour.” [Acts 3:1]

One moment spent inspecting the detail of a single leaf, the organization of a spider’s web, or the amazing uniqueness of every living thing reminds us that the God we serve is the God of the details.

The story Luke tells of the man who was carried by his friends and laid morning by morning at the temple gate is one of tremendous depth of detail.   First, the man was a beggar.  At that time in history, begging was a legitimate way of making a living.  He was dependent on the government to provide his license to beg and was entitled to be laid at the Gate Beautiful.  This life was all he had ever known, but that day was going to be different—his details of everyday living were about to change.

Every aspect of this drama has profound meaning.  Curiosity may have killed the cat, but man’s curiosity leads to wisdom and life everlasting.  Look into the detail of this story—search the shadows to find the meaning.  Why did Luke bother to record the very hour Peter and John went to prayer.  It was a normal thing for them.  Everyone expected they would be there; then why the emphasis in the midst of such a dramatic story of healing?   Why record that it was the “ninth hour”?

The wisdom hidden in the details about healing is “healing begins at the ‘ninth’ hour.”  Take a few steps back into the previous days with Peter and John, and hear the words of Jesus as he hung on the Cross.  You will hear the echo of “…and about the ninth hour, Jesus cried out, with a loud voice, saying, ‘Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?’ that is, My God, My God, Why have You forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:46).

All man’s sin and sickness were dealt with at the “ninth hour.”  Christ paid the ultimate sacrifice when sin with all its sickness separated Him from His Father.  Deep darkness was on the whole earth until life overcame death, hell and the grave.  Total healing for all mankind begins on the Cross at the ninth hour.  “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness; by whose stripes you were healed”  [1 Peter 2:24].  The “ninth hour” is those darkest moments in man’s life, the lowest point or point of greatest despair; it is here healing begins.

Looking intently for his usual take home pay, the beggar found none.  “Then Peter said, Silver and gold I do not have but what I do have I give you:  In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk’” [Acts 3:6].    At the ninth hour!  This then is the detail behind the drama—rise and be healed!

Further Readings:  Acts 3; 1 Peter 2; Matthew 27