Acts 4:8-12

 

You have to get the picture.

 

The man was lame from birth.  He had never walked.  Two believers in Jesus stopped by his begging place one day at three o’clock in the afternoon  and said, “In name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk!”  And he walked.  Actually, he did more than walk.  He ran.  He jumped.  He clung to these disciples and wouldn’t let them go.  And we believe he must have held on further to the name that had done such wonders in his life.

 

No other name in history has ever done this.  No other name in history has ever called a corpse out of its four-day grave.  No other name has ever commanded five loaves of barley and two fish to feed five thousand men and their wives and their children…and bring and additional twelve baskets of leftovers.  No other name has made a begging blind man see.  No other name has healed the stormy waters of the Sea of Galilee or the Sea of Life.  

 

In all of history, only Jesus’ name has ever done any of these things.  No other name has ever done one of these things even once.

 

It is that name that we think of today.

 

THE ONLY NAME

1. …that helps

2. …that heals

3. …that is heard all over the world

 

1. The only name that helps

When Peter and John healed the crippled man, they said the name, “Jesus Christ of Nazareth.”  As Peter is now standing before the archenemies of Jesus, culprits by the names of Annas and Caiaphas and John and Alexander, he says, “It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed.”  Jesus was the only name in town that was doing things like this.  It still is the only name in town that can truly help.

 

Jesus’ name means, the one who saves…the Savior.   So when his mother called that name off the back porch in  the evenings to fetch her son home, she really was calling out for all to hear, “The One who saves!  The One who saves!  It’s time to come in now.”

 

What a name Jesus is.  What a great help it promises to us all.

 

There are people who promise things to you with their names.  They talk all the time on the radio.  Every five or six minutes they come on with an offer (and they always say their names too).  They’ll promise to give you safe and affordable LASIK surgery for your eyes.  They say they’ll give you a good deal on a car ($9000 off the top).  Concrete people who fix sagging and cracked foundations claim that they’ll “shoot you straight.”  It is all for a cost, however.  But they promise they will help you and they always tell you their names.  They may even sing them to a jingle so you won’t forget them.

 

And now Jesus comes.  He has stalked out of his Easter tomb.  He isn’t there anymore.  He will never go back there either.  This Jesus walks up to you and he says, “I’ll save you.”  I’ll save you from worry and stress. (Cast all your anxiety on me because I care for you.”)  I’ll save you from all health problems.  (His Heaven is promised to be a place where the leaves of the Tree of Life will be for “the healing of the nations.”)  I’ll save you from financial ruin and lack.  (Remember the prayer, “Give us this day our daily bread.”  It’s his promise.  He will!)  “I’ll save you in impossible circumstances,” Jesus goes on to say.  (In the Valley of the Shadow of death I’ll be with you.)  “I’ll save you from every bad,” Jesus says.  (Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, neither powers, neither height nor depth…nothing will be able to threaten you.)  I’ll save you from death.  It’s the greatest help of all and the greatest promise.  (“Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved.”  “If a man believes in me he won’t die, even if he dies.”)

 

Jesus’ name is the only name that will help like this.  You do need help.  You must have help.  No other name can help like this.  No other name even claims to be able to help like this.  Don’t go looking elsewhere.  You won’t find another.  

 

Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.

 

2. The only name that heals

Twice the word “heal” is used.  This is what happened with the man.  He was healed.  Peter said it.  “It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has given this complete healing to him, as you can all see.”  The thing that puts Jesus’ name in a class by itself is that when it heals, it heals completely.  

 

Healing must be complete to be really helpful.  Jesus doesn’t just promise to get things into remission.  Just a little bit of improvement won’t do.  Healing means…healing!  No more trouble.  Completely well.  Healthy.  Not just able to stumble around but the walk and jump and run.  “Instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong.”  That is a complete healing. There is nothing in the medical world that even comes close to this.  In fact, the medical world will tell you, “You go home now.  You aren’t going to feel well for a while, but hang on, things will get better…we think and hope.  If they don’t, we’ll operate again and give you some new medicine.”  That’s about as good as you can hope for with any other healing but the kind Jesus provides.

 

Maybe you need a spiritual checkup to see if there is anything about you that needs healing.  Maybe it’s so.  It was so for the Apostle Paul.   “I know that nothing good lives in me, that is in my flesh.” (Romans 7:18)   Do you hear his trouble?  What is your prognosis?  He had heart trouble too.  Matthew said that it is out of our hearts that all evil things come.  David said, “Create in me a clean heart.”  He felt the palpitations of his weak heart that night on the rooftop when he saw his best friend’s wife taking a bath.  Ezekiel talks about God’s proposed heart transplant…a heart of flesh for a heart of stone.  (Ezekiel 36:26)  Spiritual hardening of the arteries is the way Ezekiel describes it.  There is bone trouble.  In the very next chapter, Ezekiel says, “Our bones are dried up, our hope is gone.”  (37:11)  We even have eye trouble.  For everything in the world---the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does---comes not from the Father but from the world.  (1 John 2:16)

 

Do you see why we need healing?  Only Jesus’ name can do it.  Only Jesus’ name can heal us completely and forever.  It is called forgiveness.  It is called grace.  It comes from him and his name.

 

3. The only name that is heard all over the world

But to stop this thing from spreading any further among the people, we must warn these men to speak no longer to anyone in this name.  Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus.  That’s the way those who didn’t believe Jesus and his name reacted.  It is still the reaction of unbelief to Jesus’ name.

 

Put yourself in the place of Jesus’ enemies and those who killed him.  They did what they did to rid the earth of Jesus…and his name.  They thought they had done this.  But now, this name pops up again.  It’s everywhere.  Wonderful things accompany this name.  People who couldn’t walk before, walk!  People who were cowardly before, talk!  There are Peter and John who formerly had their faith under lock and key.  Now they stand there making eye contact and say without fear, “Know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed.”  The name of Jesus was echoing in every alleyway in Jerusalem…in every tomb…in every home…in every room.

 

We don’t change the name of Jesus.  In whatever language you speak, it is still Jesus.  Chinese are speaking this name these days.  We are helping to cause that to happen.  A recent memorial given in our church is going to be used to cause Jesus’ name to echo in the alleys and tombs and homes and rooms of China too.

 

And just as we don’t change a name when we cross borders (the name stays the same) so we don’t change the teachings about this name of Jesus either.  It is still the same name.  We talk about this name the same way.  We teach the little children, “Jesus, loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.”  It is still Jesus.  His is the only name.  And when we are on our death beds, it is still the name of Jesus and only the name of Jesus.  His is the only Name that can help and heal at that time.

 

We just can’t help ourselves.  It is the name of Jesus.  It is the name we heard as babies and children.  It is the name we still hear.  It is the name we want to hear always.  Eternity is going to echo with this name.  The name tells us who we are.  The name promises what we shall be.

 

JESUS!  Amen.