Power: The Name of Jesus

Power: The Name of Jesus

There is tremendous power in the name of Jesus!

Joel 2:32

Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

(Quoted in Acts 2:21, Romans 10:13)

There are some who argue that the appropriate name of Jesus is the Hebrew form Yeshua.  Others argue that only name that should be used for God is the one that He assigned to Himself; Yahweh. 

The reality is that there are many names given to God mostly based on some attribute or act of His.  Jesus was also a very common name during the time that He was born and is still very popular in some cultures today.  Joseph and Mary gave Jesus His name because that is what the angel instructed them to do (Matthew 1:21).

There is tremendous power in the name of Jesus!  However, there is nothing “magical” about the name of Jesus in and of itself. 

There is only power in the name of Jesus because when we speak it, we know that we are referring to the Son of the one, true, living God.  We are referring to God in the flesh, the fullness of God in human form who is now exalted and has been given the name above every name and granted all power and all authority!

Hebrews 1:1-4

1 In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. 3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. 4 So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs.

Philippians 2:9-11

9 …God exalted him to the highest place

    and gave him the name that is above every name,

10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,

    in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,

    to the glory of God the Father.

Ephesians 1:17-23

17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.

After Jesus died and rose again, He appeared to His disciples and He spoke to them and this still applies to us, His disciples today:

Mark 16:15-20

15 … “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”

19 After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. 20 Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.

The rest of the New Testament is full of testimonies of the work of Jesus continuing through common and ordinary people like you and I who simply choose to follow Him.

While Jesus was still alive and warning His disciples about His upcoming death, they started to become confused.  Jesus attempted to comfort and encourage them while they were grasping to understand what He was telling them. 

Their perspective was near-sighted, but Jesus saw the good that awaited them on the other side of the cross.  The far-sighted see better things.  The far-sighted see that an encounter with God’s eternal goodness lies on the other side of this temporary valley of the shadow of death!

John 14:6-14

6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”

8 Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”

9 Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. 12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

In Jesus’ name, whoever believes in Him will do the works that He was doing and even greater things.  Why?  Because Jesus died to pay the price for our sin.  Then, He rose again to life to also raise us up into a new life.  Then, He baptized us in the Holy Spirit to fully equip us for every good work and to be guided to understand and do the will of God even as Jesus did.

Through the Holy Spirit, we become ambassadors of Heaven.  We act and speak in Jesus’ name meaning that we do so on His authority.  It’s very similar legally to today’s concept of having the power of attorney where one individual grants another individual the authority to act and speak on their behalf representing them in their absence.

All power and authority has been given to Jesus.  Jesus then sent us out into all of the world preaching the gospel to all creation and He chose to accompany the sharing of the good news about Him with signs that serve as practical, undeniable evidence pointing people to Jesus. 

Healing and deliverance and speaking in tongues and every other miracle that we could ever image all serve as literal signs that point people to Jesus.  They are all a cooperation between us and Jesus as we represent Him to the world and He does His work through us.  We certainly can’t do any of these things on our own!

Before Jesus travelled to minister, He sent out 72 of His disciples to each of those towns ahead of them (Luke 10).  He gave them the power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases and to heal the sick.  He warned them that not everyone would accept them, but that they would face rejection.  Nevertheless:

Luke 10:17-20

17 The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.”

18 He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. 20 However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”

Our focus must begin and also remain on who we are, not what we do.  If we have received the salvation provided by Jesus and placed our lives into His hands, we have been adopted and are now children of God.  Our identity as a child of God must be first and foremost.  We are whoever Jesus says that we are.

Allowing the Holy Spirit to do a work IN us to mature us and to develop our character and to transform us into the new creation that Jesus says that we are will always be FAR more important than the work that the Holy Spirit does THROUGH us.

Again, the work that the Holy Spirit does IN us is FAR more important than the work that the Holy Spirit does THROUGH us.  We first rejoice in who we are and whose we are. 

The fruits of the Spirit are just as valuable as the gifts of the Spirit.  The fruits of the Spirit are what make the gifts of the Spirit effective.  The fruits of the Spirit are what use speaking in tongues to lead people to salvation and not just sound like annoying clanging cymbals and resounding gongs.

However, we cannot also neglect and forget about the power and authority that we have BECAUSE of who we are and whose we are!

We must learn how to operate in the authority that Jesus has given us to overcome all of the power of the enemy.  It’s time to say, “NO MORE!” to the work of the devil in our lives, in the lives of our families and friends, and especially in our communities!

I don’t know about you, but I know that lately, my experience hasn’t been lining up with all of these promises of Jesus.  I know that there is far more power and authority available to me through Christ than what I have been seeing and experiencing.

Listen to these two accounts that reveal just how much power and authority there is in the name of Jesus!  The first occurred while Jesus was still alive.

Mark 9:38-41

38 “Teacher,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.”

39 “Do not stop him,” Jesus said. “For no one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, 40 for whoever is not against us is for us. 41 Truly I tell you, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to the Messiah will certainly not lose their reward.

Someone who was not even a disciple of Jesus was going around driving out demons just by using the name of Jesus.  The next account happened after Jesus died and rose again.  I’m going to back up a few verses just to help us to understand that the power and authority that we have in Jesus will never, ever override the will of people.

No matter how much power and authority we may have available to us, God will not enable us to override the gift of free will that He has given to all of us.  Some people will accept us and receive the work of Jesus through our lives and some people will reject it for many reasons.

The miracles that Jesus performed were for those individuals who were requesting or desiring them.  I have stepped out in faith and offered healing to strangers and had them deny it twice.  In both instances, they said that to be healed would be to lose their income.  We cannot override the will of people and we will deal with rejection!

This was true for Jesus, Himself, in the flesh throughout the course of His ministry, it was true of His apostles and disciples after His death and resurrection, and it will be true for us as well.  In fact, some of the hardest people to reach turned out to be the Jewish people; God’s own chosen people!

Acts 19:8-20

8 Paul entered the synagogue and spoke boldly there for three months, arguing persuasively about the kingdom of God. 9 But some of them became obstinate; they refused to believe and publicly maligned the Way. So Paul left them. He took the disciples with him and had discussions daily in the lecture hall of Tyrannus. 10 This went on for two years, so that all the Jews and Greeks who lived in the province of Asia heard the word of the Lord.

11 God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, 12 so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them.

Sometimes you have the right message, the right giftings, the right attitude, the right everything, but you’re trying to use them in the wrong place or among the wrong people.  Why keep preaching to those who have chosen to reject you when you could instead preach to those who would accept you?

Jesus had to pull Paul away from the Jews, his own people, and lead him to reach the gentiles.  This is the very same group of people whom he used to despise with every ounce of his being! 

However, it was there that the gospel was received and, therefore, signs, wonders, and miracles were happening in ways that they never had before, even during Jesus’ time here in the flesh!  It was in that uncomfortable and even personally offensive place where Paul’s ministry was so effective that nations heard the good news about Jesus and the works that He does.

Now we get to the second account revealing the power and authority in the name of Jesus!

13 Some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon-possessed. They would say, “In the name of the Jesus whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out.” 14 Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. 15 One day the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know about, but who are you?” 16 Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding.

17 When this became known to the Jews and Greeks living in Ephesus, they were all seized with fear, and the name of the Lord Jesus was held in high honor. 18 Many of those who believed now came and openly confessed what they had done. 19 A number who had practiced sorcery brought their scrolls together and burned them publicly. When they calculated the value of the scrolls, the total came to fifty thousand drachmas. 20 In this way the word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power.

If people who have no relationship at all with Jesus can use His name to drive out demons, how much more effective could we be who know Jesus personally and are known by Him?  How much more should we be able to walk in the authority given to us as children of God?

The demons knew Jesus, they had heard about Paul, but they never heard of these sons of Sceva.  Have the demons heard about you?  Has word spread among them to steer clear of you?  It’s time that they start recognizing the children of God walking in the authority of God and know that their time is short! 

It’s time to send them back through the dry and arid places seeking out another home because we’re handing out eviction notices to them!  The places where they once resided are going to now be filled with the very Presence of God!

There is so much more to cover on this subject!  I believe that we have barely caught a glimpse of what Jesus has planned and prepared to do in and through His people here in this church.  We have so many prophetic words that reveal it! 

I know that there are so many here growing frustrated because we’re not seeing the success that we know we are capable of.  We know the promises of God, we pray for them, declare them, believe them with our everything, but do not experience them as we know we ought to.

I believe that Jesus is just getting started.  He’s going to teach us and instruct us in the same way that He did with His disciples while He was physically with them.  It will be just like the time when the disciples couldn’t drive out the demon and heal the boy having seizures, but Jesus showed them exactly what to do to be successful found in Matthew 17.

Right now, He’s growing a holy anger within us as we see the kingdom of darkness more clearly at work.  Right now, He’s growing a deep discontentment within us as we hunger to experience more of His kingdom here on the earth.  Right now, He’s showing us the work that lies before us.

However, this morning, He is reminding us that the work is His to do.  Yes, we do work, but that work is simply to cooperate with Him and allow Him to speak and act through us.  He’s giving us eyes to see and ears to hear what is happening in the spiritual realm around us and setting us up for success. 

It is similar to how Elisha prayed for his servants eyes to be opened to see that there were more for them in the spiritual realm than those that were against them in the physical realm.  It may have looked like they were surrounded and outnumbered by their enemy’s army.  However, the enemy’s army was in reality surrounded and far outnumbered by God’s army.

Jesus has a plan and you and I are here for such a time as this.  It’s time for us to get ready.  It’s time for us to seek Him.  It’s time for us to know confidently who we are and whose we are.  He’s first doing a work IN us to give us a hunger and a thirst for Him and His kingdom.  He’s also doing a work IN us to give us an offensive attitude motivated to destroy the works of the devil and lead the people held captive into salvation. 

The fun of watching Jesus work THROUGH us is nearing on the horizon and it is going to be a blast to watch what He does here among us as His kingdom comes and His will is done here on earth even as it is in Heaven!  The testimonies and stories are going to be awesome! 

There is power in the name of Jesus!