Dave spoke tonight from Phil 2:9-11 on the name of Jesus. The name ‘Jesus’ is the Greek form of the Hebrew name ‘Joshua’, meaning ‘God saves’, and was a relatively common name in that area. It was the name given to him before his birth by the angel. There are 13 references to the phrase ‘in the name of Jesus’ in the New Testament, and they remind us that what is significant is not a name per se, but the person behind the name. Jesus is exalted in honour and power and in this passage, we see that everything must bow to his name.
Matt 28:18-20 reminds us that all authority in heaven and earth has been given to Jesus and therefore the healings, deliverance and miracles we see done by his followers in Acts are a result of their relationship with Him and that authority given to Him by God. We looked at the deliverance of a Greek girl (Acts 16:16-18) and the healing of a lame man (Acts 3:6-7), and saw that in each of these cases, the disciples used the name of Jesus to effect deliverance and healing. Their faith resulted from their relationship with Jesus, unlike the sons of Sceva in Acts 19:13-16, who presumed to use the name of Jesus like a talisman, without knowing Jesus for themselves. We can’t presume on the name of Jesus, but need the confidence and assurance which come from a personal relationship with Him. The name of Jesus is the most powerful thing in the world, but it can only be used with the authority given by Jesus. To use this name we must be born again and walking with Jesus; we cannot treat His name with irreverence or superstition.