Scripture: Acts 4:
8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: "Rulers and elders of the people! 9 If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a man who was lame and are being asked how he was healed, 10 then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. 11 Jesus is
" ‘the stone you builders rejected,
which has become the cornerstone.’ [a]
Observation: The name of Jesus Christ is powerful for those who have put their faith and trust in Him.
Application: Did you ever stop to think about the power of a name? We are affected by the authority of names just about every day whether we realize it or not. A good example is school crossing guards. These are sometimes the least intimidating looking people that you could imagine. School crossing guards are usually very friendly, they are generally helpful, and they usually have a friendly smile and wave for you as you go by, even so, all they have to do is put up their hands, and traffic stops! I’ve seen little ladies who had this job simply raise their hands and cars stop, trucks stop, guys on motorcycles with tattoos and German war helmets stop and smile and wave at them. If you think about it, it’s an amazing thing.
These crossing guards don’t really have the physical ability to stop even the smallest of vehicles that might want to pass, but everyone obeys their signals and direction because of the authority of the name under which they work. Usually crossing guards wear some kind of uniform, or have a hat, a sash or a badge that represents the name behind their authority. They may be working for the school, or maybe the city, but the authority of the name they are working under is what makes everyone stop. It’s not that particular person, it’s the name.
You see, that sweet lady at the school crossing may not be able to physically stop you, but if you don’t listen to her, then the authority behind the name under which she is working will come after you. If you fail to stop for the crossing guard, then you’ll have to answer to the local police, if they can’t stop you then maybe the highway patrol will have more luck, if you manage to escape them, then the national guard will come after you, and you don’t want that do you? No you don’t – so you stop for the sweet lady with the hand held stop/slow sign and you wave and you smile at her, even if you’re running late for your meeting of the local outlaw bikers association.
Sometimes people get confused when it comes to matters of the spirit about where the power comes from. The local religious people around Jerusalem wanted to know under what name, or by what authority Peter was working when he healed the lame man. Was it his own power or was it from somewhere else? Peter was quick to tell them that it was the power of the Name of Jesus that healed the man. Peter was a vehicle through which the power was conveyed, but the power was not his own. If he had gone up to the man and reached out in his own power, nothing would have happened, (don’t try to stop traffic at the school without the sash, badge, uniform or stop/slow sign it won’t work) but because he used the Name and authority given him through faith in Jesus Christ, God’s own Son, the man received a healing, through the power of that name.
And if you have faith in Jesus, you have the same authority and power backing you up as Peter had that day. You may not be called to serve as a healer, but no matter who you are and what your station in life may be, you can be certain that God is calling you to serve Him in some way and you are to use the authority of the Name of Jesus to do so.
Prayer: Father God,
Thank you for the authority and power that is given to us through faith in Jesus Christ. At His name demons flee and healing happens. Show me where I am to use the authority and power of Jesus’ name and grant me the courage to do so.