And a man lame from birth was being carried, whom they laid daily
at the gate of the temple that is called the Beautiful Gate to ask alms
of those entering the temple. Seeing Peter and John about to go into
the temple, he asked to receive alms. And Peter directed his gaze at him,
as did John, and said, “Look at us.” And he fixed his attention on them,
expecting to receive something from them. But Peter said, “I have no
silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus
Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!”
In Latin American communities, the name Jesús is popular. After a time, we realized ministers would always say, “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth…” when they prayed for people. When asked why they used that statement, they responded they needed to be specific so the spirits would know exactly to whom they prayed! They wanted the spirits to know specifically who had the power and authority to heal, save and deliver.
A few verses before the above passage, we are told “many signs and wonders were done by the apostles” (Acts 2:43). We are immediately given an instance. It was the hands of Peter and John the Holy Spirit used to work this miracle. A crippled man was carried to the temple at the time of prayer. He came with the usual charitable expectations. But on this day, things were going to be dramatically different.
The crippled beggar cried out for help. Peter and John, instead of averting their attention from the man, they gazed at him. Their hearts were filled with compassion towards the poor man. He saw them gazing and knew he was about to receive something from the apostles. Just as instantly, his expectations were quite undone when he heard Peter say he had no silver or gold. What he could not expect is the power of the new name on the street that Peter was about to utter! As Peter reached to help the man to his feet, the restored beggar knew they had a power from heaven able to cure his disease. There was not silver and gold enough to cure him. It was by the name of Jesus he was cured. On this day, the crippled beggar met the new name in the neighborhood!
The healing of the crippled beggar came through the power of the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth working through his apostles. Jesus said to his followers concerning those who would believe in him, “In my name…they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.” Christ spoke cures by himself. The apostles spoke them in His name. Peter tells a lame man to rise up and walk. His words would have amounted to worthless chatter if he had not premised “in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.”
Jesus promises his authority, power, and presence will accompany his followers as he takes them into the world. This is the honor of Christ’s name, that it is the only name whereby we must be saved. It is the only name we have to offer in all our addresses to God. This name is given. God has appointed it. It is an inestimable benefit freely conferred upon us. Christ has not only a great name in heaven, but a great name under heaven; for he has all power both in the upper and in the lower world. It is given among men for salvation, healing and deliverance.
Seize the name! Let’s keep it ever on our tongues as we traverse a world full of hurting and desperate people.