The Name in Action
We can see an illustration of the power of Jesus’ name early in the book of Acts. In Acts 3:1–8 we find Peter and John going up to the Temple at the hour of prayer. These two men, partners in the fishing business (Luke 5:10); together at the Mount of Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1–2); the ones who prepared the last Passover for Jesus (Luke 22:8); and the two who ran to the tomb on that very first Easter morning (John 20:3–4) were working faithfully together to build the early church.
At this time Christian believers were still attached to the temple and there were three traditional hours of prayer—9:00AM, noon, and 3PM. This was the ninth hour or the 3PM time. There were nine gates that led from the court of the Gentiles into the Temple. This gate, the Beautiful Gate, looked like gold and was a prime location for a beggar.
Peter and John, upon seeing the man teach us a couple of things. First, they were not too busy to stop, right there in the middle of the Temple gate, to pray for this man. They didn’t tell him, “We’ll pray for you,” and continued walking. They stopped and prayed on the spot.
They also teach us the power of Jesus’ name in action. While the beggar thinks only of “silver and gold,” the two apostles pray for something greater. Acts 3:6 records Peter’s words, “Then Peter said, ‘Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.’” There is no question they understood power of and permission to use the Name of Jesus in their prayers.
And, a miracle happened. How? The two apostles saw this man lying there obviously in need of a miracle and healing. What are they thinking? They’re thinking about their time with Jesus. They’re thinking about the name and nature of Jesus—what He did and what He gave them permission to do. So they came upon this circumstance and they seize an opportunity.
The man looked at them, expecting to get some cash. But he didn’t get cash; He received something so much better.
The crowds want to know what happened and Peter responds in Acts 3:12-16. In these four verses Peter makes it clear. He says, “It is not us, our power, or our godliness that made this happen. It is His Name. We have faith in His Name—we have faith that comes through Him.”
Peter had seen the name of Jesus do miracle after miracle, and do more than anyone could ever ask or think. He had faith and expectancy that when he spoke His Name, according to His will, and according to His nature something would happen.
Let’s learn from the apostles. Let’s take time to stop and pray. Let’s start using His name—understanding our legal, life and love union with Jesus, combined with His promises. Let’s start asking and believing for great things.