Bible Reading: Acts 19:11-20
In concluding this series of devotional words on the working of miracles and before moving on to the gift of prophecy, it seems an appropriate time to speak about the power of the Name of Jesus. The lame man in Acts chapter three was healed through the name of Jesus [Acts 3:6,16; 4:10]. We have salvation in Jesus’ name [Matthew 1:21; John 1:12]. When we pray it is in the name of Jesus that we offer up our prayers [John 14:13]. The Name of Jesus is above every name [Philippians 2:9]. Isaiah saw something of the power in the Name of Jesus when he wrote, “His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” [Isaiah 9:6]. It is all in the Name of Jesus.
As I have meditated on the name of Jesus I am reminded of dozens of hymns and worship songs that focus on the name of Jesus. One of those old songs has the verse: “How sweet the name of Jesus sounds, in a believer’s ear; it soothes his sorrows, heals his wounds and drives away his fears.”
My wife Esther has a habit of shouting out the name of Jesus whenever we face a difficulty or emergency situation and especially on the roads as we travel. On more than one occasion that has saved our lives. The use of another person’s name to declare legal rights is known as the “power of attorney.” Jesus has delegated to us His name to confront the attacks of Satan. Use the name of Jesus often. Speak it out!
Although the name of Jesus is powerful it is not a magic, cure all, formula and does not work for everyone. In our Bible reading today a strange incident is reported. It concerned some Jewish exorcists who tried unsuccessfully to use the name of Jesus to cast out evil spirits. Seven of these exorcists were overcome and fled both naked and wounded. They used the name of Jesus but were not successful!
The Name of Jesus is only powerful for those who enjoy the personal relationship with God that He intended for us. Simply being religious is not enough for a person to powerfully use the name of Jesus. Religion is an impersonal and involuntary obedience to a set of rules. What God wanted for us was that we should have a loving, heart relationship with Him. When we are living as God intended, then to use the name of Jesus is to declare the victory that He won on the cross over Satan, sickness and sin. That is the reason that Satan hates the name of Jesus and why we must use it.
Why did the Jewish exorcists in our Bible reading today not succeed when they tried to cast out evil spirits in the name of Jesus?
What is it that makes the name of Jesus so powerful?
The name of Jesus is powerful for those who are living in a right relationship with Him. How would you describe the relationship that God desires to have with you?