Summary: Focusing on the power in the name of Jesus
Jesus. His name is one of the most polarizing words in the world. If you utter His name in the Arab world, though their Koran considers Him a prophet, you would instantly be met with hatred and persecution.
If you were to say His name in Israel, they won’t hate you but they are likely to immediately dismiss you as unimportant and heretical to their belief that the Messiah is still to come.
Even in our own country, invoking the name of Jesus can be met with derision, hatred, and even prosecution.
His name has been used to justify atrocities and continues to be used flippantly as a type of curse word or oath. Why so much division or confusion in a name?
I believe that there are several reasons that the name of Jesus causes such a stir. First of all, I believe that within everyone, there is an inkling that Jesus is exactly who He says He is.
Since next Sunday is Palm Sunday and begins the Passion Week, I would like, this morning, to focus on the name of the one Man that was willing to go through all that we will look at in the coming two weeks. What does the Bible say about His name? First of all, It says that His Name is the only one by which we can have salvation
Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”
Peter, under the direction of the Holy Spirit, spoke those words to the elders of the Jewish faith when he and John were brought in for questioning because they were spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ in Jerusalem.
It is only through the name of Jesus that we can be saved because He, and He alone was worthy to be the ultimate sacrifice for the remission of our sin. This truth is reiterated in 1 Corinthians 6:11
…but you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
John, the Beloved Apostle, also tells us this in John 3:18
Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
So we know that it is only through the person and the name of Jesus that we can be saved. What else does the Bible tell us about His name? The Word of God tells us that there is power in the name of Jesus. Jesus himself told His disciples (John 14:13-14)
And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.
Wow! That is a lot of power that Jesus is giving to His disciples, isn’t it? Let’s take a look at that power put into practice by the disciples. A man who was lame from birth was begging outside one of the temple gates and had no idea that His life would forever be changed because of one name (Acts 3:6-7)
Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong.
The man began leaping and jumping and the people were amazed by this, but Peter, being the extravert that he was, began telling them (Acts 3:12-16)
…Fellow Israelites, 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 completely healed him, as you can all see.
What a beautiful story, and I find it humorous that Peter holds their feet to the fire by calling them out with their guilt. He didn’t mince words. He said “you killed the author of life, but God raised Him from the dead.” But he also said that it was Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through Him that healed the lame man.