Considerable thought goes into choosing a name for a new baby. Names are chosen for a variety of reasons, but it is usually the parents who decide on the name. There was no debate between Joseph and Mary about the name of the child to be born to them. Jesus received His name from heaven; it was announced to Mary and Joseph by angels.
The name given by the angels is remarkably significant and powerful. The meaning of Jesus’ name is ‘Yahweh saves’. It reveals the reason why He came (to save and deliver) and His identity as ‘Saviour of the world’. The name is so powerful because Jesus died on the cross and rose again, thus defeating all the powers of darkness. We have the power of the Holy Spirit within us when we place our faith in Jesus as our Lord.
The name of Jesus is powerful for salvation, because it rests solely on the finished work of the cross. ‘Salvation is found in no-one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which must be saved’ (Acts 4:12). In our inter-faith culture this truth is generally unacceptable. However, we who profess to love Jesus are called to witness to His saving power in our messed-up world. The name of Jesus gives us power and authority to do so without fear or compromise, even in the face of opposition.
The name of Jesus is powerful in prayer. It is not a formula for us to receive what we want. It is power and authority to bring glory to the Father. Jesus said, ‘I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask for anything in my name, and I will do it’ (John 14:13-14). When Jesus said we could ask for anything ‘in my name’, it is not a prayer that simply mentions the words, ‘in the name of Jesus’. It is prayer which comes from a passionate love for Jesus, desiring to see His will done here on earth. I believe that now is the time for us to pray for a visitation of the Holy Spirit on the Church, which will bring a harvest for God’s kingdom before Jesus returns.
The name of Jesus is powerful in healing. The first healing miracle recorded in Scripture after the ascension was done by faith in the name of Jesus. Peter said to a crippled beggar, ‘In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth walk’ (Acts 3:6). The man walked, and he began jumping and praising God. The first disciples were carrying on the work they had seen Jesus do. He told them that they would receive power when the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they did.
When they were being threatened by the authorities, they prayed for boldness to speak, and prayed that they would perform healings, miraculous signs and wonders in the name of Jesus (Acts 4:29-30). The name of Jesus holds that same power today. Maybe we need their passion and single-minded devotion to Jesus, so that we rise above the situations of life and remain steadfast and immoveable in our faith and undying love for Jesus.
The name of Jesus is powerful in spiritual warfare. As the world becomes increasingly evil, we become increasingly aware that we are not facing human issues. We are facing the devil’s schemes and the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 6:11-12). We can only win spiritual battles with spiritual weapons which are powerful and have the divine power to demolish strongholds (2 Corinthians 10:3-5).The name of Jesus, the blood of Jesus and the word of God are powerful weapons to be used in humility and utter dependence on the Holy Spirit.
‘All hail the power of Jesus’ name, let angels prostrate fall, Bring forth the royal diadem, and crown Him Lord of all’ (from a hymn by Edward Perronet 1780)
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for Jesus, who bears the name above all names, and for the power in His name. Thank You for sending Him to give His life that I might live. Please fill me afresh today with Your Holy Spirit, and with passion for Jesus, so that Your purposes will be fulfilled through my life today. For Your eternal glory, Amen.
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