(adapted from a series by Tom Ellsworth)
SERIES: “DISCOVER JESUS: The Other 3:16’s”
TEXT: ACTS 3:11-20
TITLE: “THE NAME OF JESUS”
OPEN: A. What is so important about a name?
1. How would feel if nobody knew your name?
a. When my youngest son was small, he couldn’t remember people’s names
--especially if they were his approximate age and were in the same grade at school
b. He developed the plan of just calling all his male friends, “Buddy.”
--“How’s it going, buddy?” “Hey, buddy.” “Watch this, buddy.”
c. How many of us do that with people?
--“Hey, big guy.” “How’s it going, friend?”
2. If you frequent a business, you expect them to know you by name and to greet you by name
when you walk in the door
--We like to hear our name – we want people to know our name because when they know our
name, we feel like they know us
B. I will say that there are some people that might not be very happy with their given names and want
to change their given names
--others just suffer through with whatever names their parents dropped on them
1. Some of the worst names I know of belong to preachers
--The fellow that used to minister with the Lebanon Christian Church in Lebanon, IN
was named Harry Pitts
2. But worst name of all time belongs to a now-deceased Christian church preacher
a. Last name was O-D-O-R (Odor) like, “Whew!”
b. You’d probably have trouble with that last name even if you first name was John, Bill, or
--People would still probably snicker
c. But this fellow’s first name made it even worse
--I-V-A-N: Ivan Odor
d. We sometimes call ministers in our movement, “Brother”.
--It would make it hard to introduce yourself as “Brother Ivan Odor”; especially if they
said, “You sure do!”
2. Maybe you’ve heard this classic newspaper classified ad:
--LOST DOG - $50 REWARD. Black and tan dog of poodle and German Shepherd descent.
Flea-bitten. Left hind leg missing, bald in patches, blind in one eye, left ear bitten off in dog
fight. Answers to the name of “Lucky”.
C. Several weeks ago, we started the series: “Discovering Jesus: The Other 3:16’s”
1. We looked at 1 Jn. 3:16 – “The Love of Jesus
2. We looked at Luke 3:16 – “The Power of Jesus”
3. Today we’re looking at Acts 3:16 – “The Name of Jesus”
--Acts 3:16 – “By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong.
It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has given this complete healing to
him, as you can all see.”
D. Twice in this single verse, there is a reference to the name of Jesus.
--This occurrence is not an isolated instance
1. 75 times in the Gospels and Acts we find phrases like: the name of Jesus, the name of the Lord,
his name, etc.
2. Jesus’ name is one of power and hope. Let me tell you the story and the context of this verse.
3. We have to go back to the beginning of Acts Chapt. 3
--This morning, I want to give you the story in a simple children’s song.
Peter and John went to pray
They met a lame man on the way
He stuck out his palm and asked for an alm
And this is what Peter did say:
“Silver and gold have I none
But such as I have give I thee;
In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth
Rise up and walk!”
He went walking and leaping and praising God
Walking and leaping and praising God
“In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth,
Rise up and walk!”
4. The Bible tells us that this fellow had been unable to walk since the day he was born
a. His handicap prevented him from walking to the Temple so friends or family had to carry him
there on a daily basis
--The Bible tells us that it was some kind of deformity with his feet and ankles
b. This deformity of his feet and ankles prevented him from working for a living so he had to
support himself by begging money from others
c. The fellow thought that he was going to get a hand-out but instead got a hand-up!
5. The Bible tells us that the people were amazed
--here was the same fellow who had sat and begged for alms in the same spot in the temple for
years yet now he’s “walking and leaping and praising God”!
6. Let’s pick up the narrative of the Scripture at this point
--Acts 3:11-20 – “While the beggar held on to Peter and John, all the people were astonished and
came running to them in the place called Solomon’s Colonnade. When Peter saw this, he said
to them: ‘Men of Israel, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own
power or godliness we had made this man walk? The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the
God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus. You handed him over to be killed, and you
disowned him before Pilate, though he had decided to let him go. You disowned the Holy and
Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you. You killed the author of life, but
God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this. By faith in the name of Jesus, this
man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes
through him that has given this complete healing to him, as you can all see. Now, brothers, I
know that you acted in ignorance, as did your leaders. But this is how God fulfilled what he
had foretold through all the prophets, saying that his Christ would suffer. Repent, then, and
turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the
Lord, and that he may send the Christ, who has been appointed for you—even Jesus.”
7. Let’s look at some important issues concerning the name of Jesus
I. THE NAME OF JESUS BRINGS LIFE
A. Sadly, our society had devalued the name of Jesus
--Maybe some of you in this room have used Jesus’ name as an expression of exasperation rather than
speaking it with reverence and affection
1. The name of Jesus has become offensive to some people
a. Tim Allen, star of the hit TV show Home Improvement, told about an incident that happened
while filming a Christmas episode. His character, the blundering tool man who always used too
much electricity or octane, was setting up a manger scene on the roof of his house. As usual, he
used more power than necessary and accidentally launched the baby Jesus into Wilson’s yard.
The powers-that-be around the show were fine with the gag but they wouldn’t allow Tim’s
character to mention the name Jesus. They said, “Oh, it’s okay, it could be anybody in that manger.
But you can’t mention baby Jesus.”
Tim Allen noted, “When you work in this business, you find out you can mention anything but
b. Some folks have even gone further to be disrespectful and irreverent
--Back in September of this past year, comedienne Kathy Griffin accepted an Emmy award for her
show, “Life on the D-List.” As she picked up the award, she said, “A lot of people come up here
and thank Jesus for this award. I want you to know that no one had less to do with this award than
Jesus.” She then uttered a blasphemous remark and finished by saying, “This award is my god
2. It reminds me of what Paul wrote in 1 Cor. 1:22-24 – “Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look
for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but
to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of
B. It’s heartbreaking to know that the name that brings life has now become an offensive name and a curse
1. Jesus is our source of life
2. He’s the one who paid the ultimate price to do what none of could do
--providing atonement for our sins
3. In the 1st century, the apostles and other early Christians were trying to convince people that Jesus was
for real and that faith in Him, not their religious rituals, was what God found pleasing
4. The name of Jesus offers both abundant life here on earth filled with purpose and meaning and eternal
life in heaven
C. Sadly, the message of Jesus Christ went over back then about the way it does now
1. The name of Jesus was offensive and many rejected Him
2. The event we read about this morning in Acts 3 doesn’t end in Chapt 3
a. Chapt. 4 picks up where Peter and John are arrested for preaching about Jesus
b. They have to appear the next morning before the Jewish ruling council – the Sanhedrin
c. But Peter and John stood their ground
--Acts 4:12 – “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to
men by which we must be saved.”
d. The Sanhedrin didn’t know what to do. They took Peter and John our of the room and discussed
what they should do
--Acts 4:18-20 tells us what happened: “Then they called them in again and commanded them not
to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John replied, ‘Judge for yourselves
whether it is right in God’s sight to obey you rather than God. For we cannot help speaking about
what we have seen and heard.’”
D. In Ronald Reagan’s first inaugural address, he make reference to the simple, white grave markers that
are in Arlington Memorial Cemetery:
“Under one such marker lies a young man—Martin Treptow—who left his job in a small town
barber shop in 1917 to go to France with the famed Rainbow Division. There, on the western front, he
was killed trying to carry a message between battalions under heavy artillery fire.
We are told that on his body was found a diary. On the flyleaf under the heading, ‘My Pledge,’ he
had written these words: ‘America must win this war. Therefore, I will work, I will save, I will
sacrifice, I will endure, I will fight cheerfully and do my utmost, as if the issue of the whole struggle
depended on me alone.’”
E. Brothers and sisters in Christ, the name of Jesus might offend some or it might offend many
1. Let us dedicate ourselves here this day to proclaim life in Jesus’ name
2. Let us commit to proclaiming that salvation is found in no other name
3. Let us be faithful in proclaiming that name until the day we die or until Jesus comes again
--whichever event comes first
4. He is life – both abundant and eternal!
II. THE NAME OF JESUS BRINGS HELP AND HEALING
A. I want to draw your attention to a very powerful passage in the Old Testament
--The event described here took place only three days after the children of Israel watched as God parted
the Red Sea and they were allowed to cross while the Egyptian soldiers chasing them were swallowed
up in the sea.
1. How many people here this morning can tell what history-changing events were happening in 1956?
a. Did you remember that transatlantic cable telephone service was inaugurated in that year?
b. Or did you remember that Fidel Castro landed in Cuba with a small armed force to begin the
takeover of that island?
c. Perhaps you remembered that the ocean liner Andrea Dorea sank off the coast of Nantucket?
d. Probably not
2. But if I asked you if you remember what happened on Dec. 7, 1941, you’d probably be able to tell me
that was the day that Pearl Harbor was attacked
3. 50 years from now, people will probably be able to identify the date of Sept. 11, 2001
4. Why are those two dates so memorable?
--Because nothing like those events had ever happened before
B. That was the magnitude of the Red Sea Event
--Somehow, the Israelites had quickly forgotten the significance of that incredible moment
1. After just three days of walking, they were already to give up
2. They were tired and thirsty and when they finally made it to an oasis, the water bitter and undrinkable
a. So, they started belly-aching to Moses
b. Surely, if God could make dry land appear in the middle of the Red Sea, then couldn’t he make
potable water appear in the dry land of the desert?
3. Ex. 15:25-26 – “Then Moses cried out to the LORD, and the LORD showed him a piece of wood.
He threw it into the water, and the water became sweet. There the LORD made a decree and a law
for them, and there he tested them. He said, ‘If you listen carefully to the voice of the LORD your
God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I
will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the LORD, who heals
C. God introduces Himself in this passage as the God who heals – JEHOVAH RAPHE.
1. Please understand something very important
--God’s healing is not just limited to physical healing
2. Physical healing is the least important and the most temporary of God’s work of restoration in our
3. God much more interested in emotional, personal, and especially spiritual healing and restoration
D. Just a word about the physical.
1. Can God heal physically? – Certainly.
2. Does God heal physically? – Yes, of course.
3. Does He always heal physically? – No.
a. Why are some folks healed physically and others not?
--I don’t have the answer
b. But we struggle because we expect healing to come on our terms and not God’s terms
--Only God has the answer to that question
c. The important thing to remember is that physical help and healing is nowhere near as important as
help and healing in other areas of our lives
E. We all need to recognize that we need healing and help in some area of our lives
1. Many of us just won’t acknowledge that fact
--We’re like the fellow who went to see psychiatrist. He walked into the doctor’s office with a turtle
perched on his head and a strip of bacon hanging from each ear. He looked at the psychiatrist and
said in a stern voice, “I’m here to talk to you about my brother.”
2. We need help and healing from Jesus in all kinds of areas of life:
a. Might be in our marriage
b. Might be in our relationship with our children
c. Our lives might be extremely chaotic and we need His help and healing there
-- Tom Ellsworth: We’re run ragged, we’ve burned the candle on both ends, we’ve been ridden
hard and put up wet, we meet ourselves coming and going, we have entered the rat race and are
running in the middle of the pack.”
d. Sometimes it’s simply our spiritual life is in need help and healing
1). We give in to temptation and sin in the sight of God. We only give lip service to the power of
God’s Word but fail to live out that power in our daily walk. We’ve compromised the eternal
for the temporal.
2). We’re spiritually ill and only the Great Physician can help us and heal us.
III. THE NAME OF JESUS BRINGS HOPE
A. The school system in a large city had a program to help children who faced lengthy hospital stays
keep up with their schoolwork. One of the teachers assigned to this program received the call to visit a
particular child. She wrote down the child’s name, the hospital, and the room number.
She also asked to speak to the child’s regular teacher. The teacher told her that they were studying
nouns and adverbs in class at that time and said, “I’d be grateful if you could help him understand them
so he doesn’t fall too far behind.”
The hospital program teacher went to visit the young man but no one had told her that the boy had
been badly burned and was in tremendous pain. Upset at the sight of this young man, helpless in his
hospital bed, she barely stammered out, “I’ve been sent by your school to help you with nouns and
When she left the hospital, she felt as if she hadn’t accomplished a thing. But the next day, the nurse
asked her, “What did you do that boy?” The teacher felt she must have done something wrong and
began to apologize. The nurse stopped her. “No, No. You don’t know what I mean. We’ve been
worried about that little boy, but ever since yesterday, his whole attitude has changed. He’s fighting
back, responding to the treatment. It’s as if he’s decided to live.”
Several weeks later, the boy explained that he’d completely given up hope until the teacher arrived.
Everything changed when he came to a simple realization. This is how he expressed it: “They
wouldn’t send a teacher to work on nouns and adverbs with a dying boy, would they?”
1. God looked at us and knew our situation was hopeless
a. The handicapped man in this story was born lame
--The Bible teaches that we are all born with the inherent tendency to sin and that we all do sin
1). Rom. 5:19 tells us that it was “through the disobedience of one man that many were made
2). Rom. 3:23 – “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
3). All of us are unable to walk in a way that is pleasing to Goed
b. The handicapped man was extremely poor
1). Remember, he had to beg for alms at the temple
2). The Bible tells us that all of us – as sinners – are so morally bankrupt that we cannot pay the
debt that we owe
c. The handicapped man had to sit at a gate that was between the Court of the Gentiles and the Court
of the Women
1). He couldn’t even make it to the Court of the Men because of his condition
2). The temple was the symbol of the presence of God
--All of us are outside of the temple (no matter how close to the door we sit)
3). Sin keeps us separated from God
2. But like this handicapped fellow, God offers hope through the name of Jesus Christ
B. Do you know how many times the name of Jesus appears in the New Testament
1. We are commanded to preach in the name of Jesus, believe on the name of Jesus, be baptized in the
name of Jesus, glorify the name of Jesus.
2. Acts 2:21 – “And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
3. Acts 4:12 – “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men
by which we must be saved.”
4. Col. 3:17 – “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
C. Jesus is the name of hope because it’s through His name that we come to the Father!
--Jn. 14:6 – “"I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
CLOSE: A. Back to our passage this morning, it tells us that this fellow formerly with deformed feet and
ankles can now walk
--Acts 3:7 tells us that Peter takes him by the hand and pulls him up. Vs. 8 tells us – “He jumped
to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the templecourts, walking and
jumping, and praising God.”
1. He cried out to Peter and John wanting money but what he got was mobility!
2. Silver and gold just can’t compare to a healed life
3. I guarantee that there never was a named that sounded so sweet to that man as did the name of
4. Know today that no name will ever have the power to save you or help you like the name of
B. Paul Borthwick, veteran missionary and minister, writes:
I was traveling from Boston to Denver, and the departure area for my flight was buzzing with
stern-looking men in dark suits talking into their lapels. I asked a flight attendant what was
happening. She replied, “Just wait. You’ll see.”
After we settled into our economy-class seats, two of the dark-suited men arrived in first class,
followed by former President Gerald Ford. I sat a few rows away! I thought, “I’ve never met a
President before. I’ll go introduce myself.” But then I wondered, “Why would he want to meet
me?” I didn’t even vote for him! Then I remembered that during my years in seminary, I had
met President Ford’s son, Mike. So I marched toward first class.
Before the Secret Service men could stop me, I spoke boldly: ‘President Ford, I just wanted to
meet you. I know your son, Mike.’ We talked briefly, mostly about Mike. Mike’s name gave
me ‘authority’ to approach the President.
1. It’s in Jesus name that we can boldly approach the throne of God
2. Heb. 4:14-16 – “Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the
heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a
high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been
tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of
grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of
C. The Bible tells us in Paul’s letter to the church at Philippi that because of Jesus’ humble attitude
and his willingness to go to the cross, God has “exalted him to the highest place and gave him the
name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow…and every
tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Phil. 2:9-11)
1. You can confess His name today and receive life, help, healing, and hope
2. You can wait until you’re forced to do it on judgment day
--Sadly, at that point it’s too late