The name of Jesus

“Well it seems like a great idea. So many seem to be using the name of Christ to get what they want. There must be some kind of power in that name, whoever he was.” This must have been the thoughts of the seven sons of a Jewish high priest named Sceva. (Acts 19:15-16) Interesting how some who do not even know Christ, think “why not use His name”.

There is no doubt there is power in the name of Christ. Christ instructed us to use his name. “And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” (John 14:13) He said it again in John 15:16 “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.” But in both occasions Jesus was speaking to believers, His followers.

Jesus knew that His followers believed in Him and had some faith. On one occasion two blind men came to Jesus wanting to be healed and what did Jesus ask? He asked “Do you believe…?” When they answered in the affirmative, Jesus healed them. (Matthew 9:27-31) There is also the wonderful case of the woman who had a blood sickness and had seen many doctors without any success. She believed that if she could just touch Jesus’ garment she could be healed. In her weakened state, fighting through a crowd she did exactly that and was healed instantly. Jesus demanded that the woman come forth. She was terrified. Let’s consider why she would be terrified? She knew this Jesus was no ordinary man and feared the power of God, further proof of her faith. Jesus would say of her “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.” (Mark 5:34)

Faith in God is an important ingredient when expecting a miracle. There are other ingredients no doubt. Another ingredient is, knowing that God has to be willing. Now the Sons of Sceva had erred greatly in not considering at least these two ingredients. They did not have true faith in Christ. They had faith in the name of a person they did not know. They thought the name of Jesus was some kind of mystic power they could use for whatever they wanted and to benefit themselves. They were not believers in Jesus Christ, as lord and messiah.

The result was not pretty. The evil spirit after being told to leave in the name of Christ Said “Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?” then the demon possessed man attacked the sons of Sceva, tearing their clothes off and wounding them. (Acts 19:15-16)

Until this day there are many who would like to benefit from Christ without ever having truly known Him. For them Christianity is a business or a way of manipulating the masses, politicians who never attend church except when election time is near and then say all the right words. Throughout history men have used Jesus to get what they want, manipulate the masses, get away with horrific actions and seize power. However far from being believers, they are actually enemies of the cross. Until this day their horrific actions make it difficult for many to put their trust in Christ. I am sure they will have their reward in the next life.

As believers God has blessed us with a powerful weapon, the name of Christ. However, we cannot simply say in the name of Christ and it will be done. Jesus must be our Lord and we must understand that the power comes from God and He must be willing. We do not proudly demand what we do not understand, we humbly ask in awe of what we know to be real.


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