May 1st

The Name of Jesus

1The priests and the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to Peter and John while they were speaking to the people. 2They were greatly disturbed because the apostles were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead. 3They seized Peter and John, and because it was evening, they put them in jail until the next day. 4But many who heard the message believed, and the number of men grew to about five thousand. 5The next day the rulers, elders and teachers of the law met in Jerusalem. 6Annas the high priest was there, and so were Caiaphas, John, Alexander and the other men of the high priest's family. 7They had Peter and John brought before them and began to question them: "By what power or what name did you do this?" 8Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: "Rulers and elders of the people! 9If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a cripple and are asked how he was healed, 10then 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. 11He is " 'the stone you builders rejected, which has become the capstone'12Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved." 13When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. 14But since they could see the man who had been healed standing there with them, there was nothing they could say. Acts 4:1-14 NIV

The name of Jesus is a name that hopefully we will never grow callused to or too familiar with.  It is easy to forget the power associated with the name of Jesus, especially if we use it often in prayer.  I find it helpful when I pray to remember that Jesus’ name directly connects me with all of God’s power.  Paul wrote about Jesus, “God has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9-11 NKJV). 

We can apply Jesus’ authority to whatever challenges are facing us …cancer, addiction, pornography, trauma, divorce, death, fear, debt, etc. – the name of Jesus has power over whatever bad thing is named before us.  Jesus plainly told his disciples, I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. 14You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it” (John 14:12-14 NIV).

Some important conditions to remember:  We need to be praying in faith, believing that God hears us.  We also need to be abiding in God’s will and praying according to that will.  Jesus said, “We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly man who does his will” (John 9:31 NIV)

Questions for further thought:

John 3:15-21

Philippians 2:5-11

Revelation 5:1-14

Revelation 19:11-21

Prayer

“Lord Jesus, Please forgive me for growing callous to the true meaning and reality of your name.  Thank you for making the ultimate sacrifice for me by dying on the cross. Thank you for enduring the horrifying agony for my sake.  Lord, please help me be re-sensitized to your name and all that it means.  I lay the following challenges I have been facing down before you:  ______ (list the things from the last question above).  I proclaim that the name of Jesus is above everything named on my list and I break the power of every ungodly thing on that list right now!  Thank you, Master.  It is in your mighty name that I pray, Amen.”