The mention of a name brings about mixed feelings to those who hear it. For names constitute one of the most important forces in the universe. The mention of the name Jesus produces a multitude of reactions: both positive and negative feelings. This study on Acts 4:1-12 highlights the power of the name Jesus that brings about salvation and personal wholeness.
Being ready to proclaim Jesus Christ
The whole context of Acts 4:1-12 is on the healing of the lame beggar at the temple’s gate called Beautiful. After the healing of this crippled beggar, Peter used the interest of the multitudes as an opportunity to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ. The message centered on the death and resurrection of Christ. In this message, Peter called for repentance and returning to God through faith in the name of Jesus Christ. Peter and John probably were answering questions and giving further exhortations concerning the need for the hearers to come to Jesus Christ.
Persecuted for acts of kindness
Amidst sharing the gospel, some religious leaders and groups, named Sanhedrin and Sadducees decided to thwart their work of evangelization. These were the main religious leaders of the nation. The Sadducees were one of the four parties of religious leaders in Israel (along with Pharisees, Essenes, Zealots). They did not believe in the supernatural and so denied the resurrection of the dead.
It is important to note that not all religious leaders believe in Jesus and are thus willing to defend the name of Jesus. Hence so many systems and some political leaders have the agenda to silence the name of Jesus.
Various reactions about the name Jesus Christ
The name of Jesus has been used both by believers and unbelievers alike. On the one hand, some unbelievers have used the name of Jesus negatively. In this regard some kings have cursed the name Jesus, some multitude has blasphemed it, charlatans have misused the name of Jesus. On the other hand, some believers and for that matter the disciples of Jesus have used the name positively by proclaiming the name Jesus and the gospel which represent him and his salvation ministry. People can be made whole for eternity only through the name Jesus. Jesus’ name represents Jesus’ life and the entire revelation of him. Jesus’ name thus constitutes the gospel that we preach.
The powerful effect of the name of Jesus
The physical healing of the beggar serves as a demonstration and illustration of our spiritual healing. After being healed, the beggar went “walking and leaping and praising God.” He was a changed man from inside out. He became a new creature in Christ for he was more than just a physically healed man. The whole lifestyle of this man became one of “praising God.” Thus, the gospel of Jesus Christ affects the whole person!
Conclusion and application
There is power in the name of Jesus. There is healing and thus salvation in the name of Jesus. In the light of the power in the name of Jesus, namely, to save, the statement that all religions lead to the same God needs to be questioned. For to Luke, only the name Jesus brings complete wholeness. Demons and evil Spirits flee when they hear the name Jesus. It is therefore questionable to claim to know Jesus and yet run after other gods.
- What does the name of Jesus mean personally to you?
- In the light of Acts 4:12, do all religions truly lead to God?
- What are some of the inappropriate ways that, in your opinion, people use the name of Jesus?