There is power in the name of Jesus. This is so clear as you read through the book of Acts. In Acts 3, Peter and John pass a lame man sitting by one of the gates begging for alms. He has been there day after day hoping for some worshippers to present him with a gift for the poor dedicated to God. Finally on one day, Peter and John make eye contact with the lame man. The man is surely expecting a gift, but he was not expecting the gift he received. Peter said, “I do not have any silver or gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!” Peter then took the lame man by the hand, and he started walking and leaping and praising God. All of the people were amazed at this miracle, and it opened a door for him to share about the resurrected Jesus Christ.
Peter and John knew they had no power on their own. They understood their ministry was an extension of the work and ministry of Jesus. The church still today is to carry on the ministry of Jesus to bring healing and hope to a sinful and broken world. Sometimes, God breaks in to bring physical healing to someone, but God also longs to bring healing to broken people with broken hearts. He left that ministry in the hands of the church. We are on the clock. It is our turn and opportunity to share the message and love of Jesus Christ with the world around us. How will people know there is power in the name of Jesus if his followers are not committed to living out this call, and seeking to share the person and name of Jesus with those in our areas of influence.
Jesus once healed a cripple man when his friends carried him, and lowered him down through the roof because the crowds were so great. Jesus saw the faith of his friends and declared to the man, “Your sins are forgiven.” Some in the crowd accused him of blasphemy because only God could forgive sin. Jesus said to the man and his accusers, ‘But that you may know the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins’ — then he said to the paralytic, ‘Arise pick up your bed and go into your house.’” (Matthew 9:6) The man was healed that day in his heart and his body. Most likely this man felt he had committed some grave sin which led to his paralysis, as if God had cursed him. He not only need physical healing, but he also needed to know that he was forgiven and made right with God. He met grace on that day.
I am sure that lame man sitting at the gate before Peter and John also was dealing with his own inner demons. The theology of the day would have declared that he was cursed by God for some sin. The people had pity on him by giving alms, but also believed he was beneath them. Peter looked him in the eye, and declared healing in the name of Jesus Christ. I love to pray for physical healing for people, but above all I know they need to be brought fully into the presence of Jesus. He can speak life and grace into their hearts. His love can change them, and wipe away guilt and shame. Jesus can cause the chains of the past to fall to the ground. There is truly life and power in the name of Jesus Christ. And that’s the Word.
The Rev. David Yarborough is pastor of St. Simons Community Church. Contact him at email@example.com or 912-634-2960.