While I was mowing my grass this morning, I found myself meditating on the Name of Jesus. I asked myself, “Why do we end our prayers with ‘In Jesus’ name’?” I know why, but I ask these kinds of questions often, constantly keeping my mind sharp in case someone asks me, because we are supposed to be ready in season and out of season to answer people’s questions. As I mowed this morning, I really thought about His name- Jesus.
There are a few passages in scripture that tell us about the importance of His name. To begin with, the prophecies about the Messiah never mentioned His actual name, yet gave Him names such as “Prince of Peace” and “Wonderful Counselor”, and Isaiah also wrote that His name would be “Emmanuel” which means God is with us. God values names. He knows you by name. He even changed people’s names when they did something really important- such as Abram became Abraham, Jacob became Israel, Saul became Paul, and Simon became Peter. If you ever feel up to it, I would encourage you to do a study of all the names of people in the bible who had their name changed and why it happened. God truly loves our names.
God hand-picked Jesus’ name in Luke 1:31, when the angel told Mary, “and you are to call him Jesus.”
There are actually quite a few scriptures that address the Power that is in His name, and we could really start with any of them, but let’s start with what Jesus said about His own name:
John 3:18- I think we are all fairly familiar with this passage of scripture. I have even met nonbelievers who can quote John 3:16. But verses 3:17 and 3:18 are often ignored. In verse 18, Jesus said, “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 believing in His name will bring salvation. Romans 10:13 and Acts 4:12 both support that statement. Romans 10:13, “for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” And Acts 4:12, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” Clearly, the name of Jesus has power to save people. I have actually led people to Christ by simply saying His name. I told some kids one time that if they would just say His name they would be filled with peace. They didn’t believe in Jesus and were all talking about the violence in their lives and how the “real world” worked. So I had them close their eyes, hold out their hands as if they were about to be given a box or something, and say, “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus” slowly. They did… and the power of God fell on them and they began to feel peace inside, and then I told them that He is real, and asked them if they wanted to give their lives to Him because He loved them and wanted to have a relationship with them. They all said yes. There is such great power in His name.
There is so much power in the name of Jesus that His name alone can heal people. Acts 4:30 says, “Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” I have seen so many people get healed when I have prayed, as well as when I have seen others pray. I love to coach people to pray. Just 2 nights ago, I taught a group of believers in another town to pray with the authority given by the name of Jesus. We saw a lot of healing and miracles, it was awesome.
Another scripture that tells us about the power of His name is found in Mark 16:17 (really, read 17 and 18), “And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues;” We see here, from Jesus Himself, that speaking His name as the one who has given us authority will drive demons out of people, praying with the authority of Jesus’ name will allow Holy Spirit to fill people to the point of speaking in new tongues (of every kind- languages and tongues). I know I have been given the ability to speak in a few languages for a short time because I prayed for it when I was in places that didn’t speak English. I needed God to equip me, and He does. A few people here at UBC have actually witnessed me speak beyond my natural ability, and then when we come home the ability is gone. Jesus says in this passage here that many miracles will be possible for those who believe and use His name as a seal of authority.
I don’t believe “…in Jesus’ name” should be used like abracadabra or some magical phrase. It isn’t a phrase that simply makes things happen. It’s the name of authority. And when we pray in that authority, using that authority, demonstrating that we actually believe in the power of His name, mountains move, trees uproot and walk into the sea, and nothing is impossible for us.
In Luke 10:17-19, the 72 come back and say that even devils flee when they use Jesus’ name as their seal of authority. Jesus says in John 14:13-14, “And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” Wow, that’s pretty clear. If you believe… His name is your seal of authority. He wants to move, He withholds nothing. He is for you… If you believe, nothing will be impossible for you. If you believe, His name is your seal of authority.
Don’t believe me yet? Let’s recall what Peter did: “One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon. 2 Now a man who was lame from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. 3 When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. 4 Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!” 5 So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them. 6 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.” This is found in Acts 3. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth… There is Peter’s seal of authority. His name isn’t magic. Peter didn’t have special abilities. He didn’t have a special calling for healing. He knew Jesus. He believed in Jesus. He loved Jesus. Period.
Like Peter, you can see mighty signs and wonders, if you will believe. Believe in Jesus’ name. Don’t use it for your gain; it’s not magic, and Jesus is not your genie. But if you will believe, His name is your seal of authority. In ages past, if you had a seal of authority (typically a ring or even a wax impression of the King’s ring) you had privileges that were not normally afforded to people. Like that, when you have faith in Jesus, God gives you privileges not normally afforded to mankind. Holy Spirit actually partners with you. And when you pray from that place, many things happen such as tumors dissolve in your hand, skin cancers fall off like scabs, blind eyes suddenly see, deaf ears open, limbs grow out, backs get healed, finances get corrected, relationships get healed, and people meet God.
So this week, I encourage you to believe. Believe with all you can. Believe in His name, His wonderful, beautiful, powerful name of authority. Bless you…
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