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The Name Of Jesus



PRINCETON CHRISTIAN CHURCH


ACTS 3:11-20                            09 JUNE 2024

 

What is significant about a name?


How would you feel if nobody knew your name?


I have some difficulty with that. When I am introduced to someone new, I try to repeat the name when I greet them or shake their hand.


But often, I walk away and forget the name almost immediately. Maybe that is because – you know – I am elderly, and my mind is a bit foggy sometimes.


Sometimes, when you can’t remember a name, you may greet someone like this: “Hey, Buddy, how are you doing?”” Or howdy, Friend.” Anything to avoid having to say the name.


People like to hear their names. When you enter a room or a business where you go on a regular basis, you expect the people there to recognize you and call you by name.


Example of Norm in “Cheers!”


We like to hear our name called out. That helps us to know that they know us – they know who we are. It is a matter of being recognized – of having some worth.


Did you ever know someone who didn’t like their name and wanted to change it – or actually did change it?


When I was a student at Johnson Bible College, one student’s last name was Pitts. His father, a preacher, had the first name Harry.


Another student’s father, also a preacher, had the last name Odor. Yes, it is spelled just the way you think. But his first name was Ivan—Ivan Odor.


You have to stop and ask – what were their parents thinking when they named this child?


I saw a newspaper ad that read: Lost Dog. $50 reward. Black and tan dog of poodle and German Shepherd descent. The ad went on to describe the dog as flea-bitten, missing Left hind leg, bald in patches, blind in one eye, and having had his left ear bitten off in a dog fight. He answers to the name “Lucky”!


 

So, names are important to us.


Let’s see how one name in particular is important to all of us.


Acts 3:11-20

 While he was clinging to Peter and John, all the people ran together to them at the so-called portico of Solomon, full of amazement. But when Peter saw this, he replied to the people, “Men of Israel, why are you amazed at this, or why do you gaze at us, as if by our own power or piety we had made him walk?  The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified His servant Jesus, the one whom you delivered and disowned in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release Him.  But you disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked for a murderer to be granted to you,  but put to death the Prince of life, the one whom God raised from the dead, a fact to which we are witnesses.  And on the basis of faith in His name, it is the name of Jesus which has strengthened this man whom you see and know; and the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect health in the presence of you all. “And now, brethren, I know that you acted in ignorance, just as your rulers did also.  But the things which God announced beforehand by the mouth of all the prophets, that His Christ would suffer, He has thus fulfilled.  Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord;  and that He may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you,

It is interesting that a part of that passage includes a 3:16. If you look closely, you will see other 3:16s in Scripture.


  • John 3:16 – For God so loved the world

  • Luke 3:16 – The Power of Jesus

  • 1 John 3:16 – The Love of Jesus


And today, we are looking at Acts 3:16 – The Name of Jesus


Did you notice in that short verse that there is a reference to the “name of Jesus?”


“…on the basis of faith in His name…”

“…it is the name of Jesus…”


Someone has counted and found that there are 75 times in the Gospels and Acts, phrases like the name of Jesus, the name of the Lord, in His name appear.


Why do you suppose that reference to “the name of Jesus” is so often repeated?


I believe it is because Jesus’ name is a name of Power and Hope.


Do you remember the song you probably sang in Sunday School or Bible School when you were a child? I am not sure what the name of the song was – again, that memory thing….


The song begins:


“Peter and John went to pray; they met a lame man on the way.

He stuck out his palm and asked for alms.

And this is what Peter did say:

Silver and gold have I none, but what I do have I give to you.”


In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!”


This man had been unable to walk since birth. His handicap kept him from walking to the Temple, so someone had to carry him there every day.


His feet were so deformed that he couldn’t work for a living, so he tried to survive by begging for money or food from others who were passing by.


So, when Peter and John stopped by, he expected to receive some money or maybe some food—a handout.


But what happened? He got a hand-up instead of a hand-out.


And, as you would expect, the people who witnessed this miracle were amazed.


They had seen this man for years begging here and now he was walking and leaping and praising God.


One very important and impactful piece of this event is even beyond the healing of the man.


That comes from Peter as he addressed the crowd (verses 12-16). READ


But when Peter saw this, he replied to the people, “Men of Israel, why are you amazed at this, or why do you gaze at us, as if by our own power or piety we had made him walk? The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified His servant Jesus, the one whom you delivered and disowned in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release Him.

He turned it into a revival meeting.


The revival meeting turned into the arrest of Peter and John, where they continued to preach the Gospel to the rulers.


Let’s look now at some prominent issues concerning the “name of Jesus.”


First, The name of Jesus Brings Life


In our world today, Jesus's name means nothing to many. You may hear His name spoken, but it is often not in a reverent manner.


The name of Jesus is actually offensive to some people.


Tim Allen illustration

Jesus is a stumbling block in the lives of those who want His name not to be spoken. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 1:22-24: Jews demand miraculous signs, and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.”


And that is what we see so much in our world today – the name that brings life to all who will seek it now has become an offensive name and a curse to those who reject it.


Jesus is our source of life.


He is the one who paid the ultimate price – a price that no one else could pay – that is, to provide atonement for our sins.


In the first century, at the beginning of the Church, the apostles, and other early Christians tried to convince people that Jesus was real and that faith in Him pleased God. It was not their religious rituals that pleased God.


The name of Jesus brings us abundant life here on earth. That makes our lives filled with purpose and meaning, both here on earth and in eternity in heaven.


It is sad but true that at the beginning of the church, the message of Jesus was rejected by many, just as it still is today.


This rejection of Jesus didn’t just happen in the Acts chapter 3 record. It carries on to chapter 4, where we find Peter and John arrested for preaching Jesus.


One of the reasons they were arrested was because, as we see in verse 4 – many of those who heard the message about Jesus – believed!


And that really riled up the Sanhedrin.


When they were brought before the Jewish ruling court – the Sanhedrin – Peter and John did not cave in for fear of their lives.


They stood their ground. Look at their testimony – verse 10, Peter speaks: “Let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom YOU crucified, whom God raised from the dead – by this NAME this man (the healed beggar) stands here before you in good health.”


Peter goes on in verse 12 and says: “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other NAME under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.”


So, they had Peter and John escorted out so they could decide their punishment. They realized that a lame beggar had been healed in the name of Jesus. They couldn’t deny that.


I mean, it is hard to deny seeing a man who was known to have been unable to walk for years and years, and then he is seen running, leaping, and jumping around.


But they wanted that kind of thing to not happen again. They had to punish someone.


When they called Peter and John back into the courtroom they “commanded them to not speak in the Name of Jesus.


Peter and John were still not intimidated by these accusers. They shot right back at them and said, “Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God’s sight to obey you rather than God. For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard. “


Today, the Name of Jesus might offend someone – in fact, it does offend many.


So, we must dedicate ourselves to proclaiming life in Jesus’ Name.


We are obligated to proclaim that salvation is found in no other Name.


We are obligated to remain faithful in proclaiming that Name until the day we die – or until Jesus comes again.


He is Life – He is both abundant and eternal. Eternal means forever – without end!


So – the Name of Jesus brings Life.


Secondly, the Name of Jesus Brings Help and Healing


In the Old Testament, there is a powerful event. That event took place only three days after the children of Israel watched as God parted the Red Sea. They were able to walk through the sea on dry ground while the Egyptian soldiers were chasing them.


Israel reached the other side while the Egyptian soldiers were swallowed up in the sea as God rolled the water back into the seabed.


Let me give you a little history quiz today.


Does anyone here know what historical events occurred in 1956? Some of you may not even have been born then, but you did take a history class or two along the way.


1.    Did you remember that transatlantic cable telephone service was begun in 1956?

2.    Did you remember that Fidel Castro landed in Cuba with a small army to begin the takeover of Cuba?

3.    Do you remember that the ocean liner Andrea Dorea sank off the coast of Nantucket?


I doubt that any of us remember any of those events.


Now, if I asked what happened on December 7, 1941, you might be able to tell me that was the day that Pearl Harbor was attacked.


Or, if I asked what important event happened on September 11, 2001, more of you could answer – the attacks on the Twin Towers in NYC and other sites by terrorist forces who want to destroy our country.


Why do those dates remain in our minds? Nothing like that has ever happened before.


And that was the magnitude of the event at the Red Sea.


But the Israelites did forget that incredible moment when God provided a way of escape from the enemy.


They grew tired of walking and doing without food and water and wanted to give up. When they did get to water, it was bitter and undrinkable.


They thought, surely, if God could make dry land appear in the middle of the Red Sea, He could make drinkable water available to them in the dry land of the desert.


God is a God who heals – but God’s healing is not limited to physical healing.


Physical healing is the most temporary of God’s work of restoration in our lives.


Questions:

Can God heal physically? Of course, He can.

Does God heal physically? Of course, He has.

Does He always heal physically? No, of course not.

Why are some people healed physically and others not healed?

Only God has the answer to that question.


We struggle with that question because we expect healing to come on our terms and not on God’s terms and timing.


It is important to remember that physical help is not nearly as important as help and healing in other areas of our lives.


We need help and healing sometimes in areas of life that we don’t even recognize.


Maybe it is in our marriages, in our relationship with our children, maybe in our busy lives, and most importantly – we need healing when our spiritual life isn’t as it should be.


Tom Ellsworth, a Christian Church preacher, once said, “We’re run ragged,


We’ve burned the candle at both ends.

We’ve been ridden hard and put up wet.

We meet ourselves, coming and going.

We have entered the rat race and are running in the middle of the pack.”


Sometimes, it is simply our spiritual life that needs help and healing.


What does that look like – our need for help and healing for our spiritual life?


We may begin to give in to temptation.


We may only give lip service to the power of God’s Word causing us to not call on His power.


We may compromise – choose the temporal and reject the eternal.


When we are in that condition, we are spiritually ill, and only the Great Physician can help


And heal us.


Now, thirdly, The Name of Jesus Brings Hope


As God looks down on His creation, mankind, He must sometimes think our situation is hopeless—or that we are hopeless.


Going back to this lame man at the gate to the Temple – he was born handicapped. He was lame from birth. His handicap wasn’t caused by his sin.


But the Bible teaches us that we are all born with the tendency to sin and that we do all sin.


Paul writes in Romans 5:19 – “through the disobedience of one man that many were made sinners…” and the last part of that verse assures us that “through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.”


The temple is the symbol of the presence of God. All of us are outside the temple.


Sin keeps us separated from God.


But, like this handicapped man, God offers hope through the Name of Jesus Christ.


Someone has apparently counted and found that the name of Jesus appears 1,241 times in the New Testament.


We are commanded to preach in the Name of Jesus, to believe on the Name of Jesus, to be baptized in the Name of Jesus, and to glorify the Name of Jesus.


Acts 4:12 tells us – “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other Name under heaven given to me by which we must be saved.”


Acts 2:21 tells us – “And everyone who calls on the Name of the Lord will be saved.”


Jesus is the Name of Hope because it is through His Name that we come to the Father.

Jesus himself tells us in John 14:6: I am the Way and the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”


As we close, let’s go back to this passage in Acts 2. We find this man born with deformed feet and ankles – never walked a day in his life.


And in Acts 3:6-8 we read this: “But Peter said, “I do not possess silver or gold, but what I do have I give to you: In the NAME OF JESUS the Nazarene – WALK! And seizing him by the right hand, he (that is Peter) raised him up; immediately his feet and his ankles were strengthened. With a LEAP he stood upright and began to walk; and he entered the temple with them, WALKING AND LEAPING --- AND PRAISING GOD!


This man asked for money, but he received something more valuable than money. Money would never allow him to walk.


All the riches in the world cannot compare to a healed life – healed by the Master Physician – Jesus.


And I am sure that man would agree that no Name sounds as sweet as the Name of Jesus.


If you are here today and don’t know the power that Jesus has to cleanse you of your sin, you can confess His Name today.


You can receive Life, Help, Healing, and Hope.


Like the man healed by the power of Jesus' Name, you will be healed, released from the grip of Satan on your life.


Confess that Jesus is the Son of God, that He died for your sins, and be baptized and buried with Him so that your sins are washed away.

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