by Pastor Jim Feeney, Ph.D.
Summary: “Jesus” — a name uttered in anger and cursing by some and in devout worship by others. The name Jesus is searched for on Google over 16 million times a month (January 2011). Two billion inhabitants of this earth identify themselves as followers of Jesus. Writing Romeo and Juliet more than 400 years ago, William Shakespeare asked, “What’s in a name?” Come and see God’s answer for every race, nation, and tongue.
Explanatory note: For convenience, we will look at Scriptures on Jesus’ name in the order in which they appear in the New Testament.
Matthew 1:21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.
•• The name Jesus is akin to the Hebrew word for Joshua, which means “the Lord is salvation”.
•• What more fitting name could there be for our Savior than “Jesus”? The angel told Joseph to name the child Jesus, “because he will save his people from their sins.” I will never forget the day in February 1969, when I came to active, personal faith in Jesus and He forgave my sins and received me into the family of God. From that day to this, the name Jesus rests very comfortably on my lips.
Mark 9:39 “Do not stop him,” Jesus said. “No one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me.”
•• There is such power in Jesus’ name that it can enable those who invoke His name in faith to accomplish even miracles.
•• I recall seeing that name above all names, the name of Jesus, called upon in delivering a woman possessed by four demons. In submission to the authority of Jesus' name, the four evil spirits came out of the woman. She was quickly saved and baptized in the Holy Spirit, speaking in tongues, laughing and crying with joy, and declaring, “This is what I’ve always wanted!” She was happily in church the next Sunday, completely delivered, saved, and Spirit-filled in response to that name above all names — Jesus!
•• Count yourself among those believers in the Lord who may do a “miracle in [Jesus’] name”.
Mark 16:17-18 [Jesus said] And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues;  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.
•• Right in the famous Great Commission, Jesus empowers His followers — including you if you are His follower! — to do supernatural signs in His name. By faith in Jesus’ name you can “drive out demons ... speak in new tongues ... place [your] hands on sick people and they will get well.” How? — “In [Jesus’] name”!
•• With the name of Jesus on your lips, you can minister as a Spirit-empowered ambassador for Christ, with authority over both sickness and the devil.
John 16:23-24 In that day you will no longer ask me anything. I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.  Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.
•• Answered prayers! What’s the key? Pray to God the Father in Jesus’ name. Don’t be hesitant or timid. James wrote, “Ye have not because ye ask not” (James 4:2, KJV). Jesus said our part is to “ask” in His name. God’s part (and promise) is to answer.
•• While it is certainly not inappropriate to speak to and pray to Jesus (Acts 7:59; Rev. 22:20), He Himself encouraged us to pray to God the Father in Jesus’ name — which speaks of the direct access we have to the Father through the Son. As you invoke Jesus’ name in faith, “ask and you will receive.”
John 20:31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
•• Life! In vain did the explorers cross oceans seeking the mythical “fountain of youth”. And yet eternal life lay right within their grasp without ever leaving their home countries. How? — “...by believing you may have life in his name”. That is, in the name above all names, the name that imparts eternal life to those who accept Him, the wonderful name of Jesus!
•• Not simply biological life, but eternal life in heaven, in the wondrous presence of God the Father, Jesus His Son, the Holy Spirit, the holy angels, and the millions of redeemed believers from all ages. And again, where is that life found? — “...in his name”, in the name of Jesus.
Acts 2:21 And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
Romans 10:13 ...for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
•• The biblical opposite of “saved” is “lost”. Lost in our unforgiven sins, and under pending judgment for them. Lost in our broken relationship with God. Lost in our inability to do anything to reconcile ourselves with God.
•• But take courage! Jesus specifically said that He had come “to seek and to save what was lost” (Luke 19:10). Are you still “lost” in your unforgiven sins? Then hear the gracious offer of God: “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord [Jesus] will be saved.” Call on His name. Reach out from your heart in faith to Jesus for His merciful forgiveness. I can guarantee with 100% certainty that He will respond with His "great salvation". The Bible promises that you “...will be saved”.
Acts 2:38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
•• Calling on Jesus, repent of your sins ... be baptized in water ... experience His forgiveness ... and receive the mighty baptism with the Holy Spirit. All these blessings and more come into your life in His wonderful name.
Acts 3:6 Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.”
•• The man had been crippled from birth. Relegated to begging in order to survive, he asked Peter and John for some money. But Peter had something for the cripple that was far better than money. Peter had faith in the healing power of Jesus. So he called out that name and commanded the man to walk. And he did! The man lame from birth jumped up and began to walk and leap around as Jesus poured strength and healing into his crippled limbs.
•• “Jesus” — there is limitless power in that holy name above all names. Let Jesus' name be often on your lips. Call upon it in every time of need — physical, emotional, spiritual, whatever!
Acts 3:16 By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has given this complete healing to him, as you can all see.
•• Jesus does all things well (Mark 7:37), including providing complete healing for those who have faith in the power and authority of the name of Jesus. Remember how this healing came about (vs. 6) — “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.”
•• I am reminded of another miraculous healing that the Lord used Peter to minister. A man named Aeneas had been a bedridden paralytic for eight years. Peter came up to him and declared, “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you. Get up...” and Aeneas stood up healed! Peter understood the irresistible power of Jesus’ name.
Acts 4:10, 12 ...then 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....  Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”
•• A worshipful song that is often sung in church goes like this: “No other name but the name of Jesus...” Contrary to the “inclusive” spirit of the age we live in, God has determined that it is only through Jesus that we may be saved. Not by good works, nor by exemplary character, although those things are good and important. No, the only way to be “saved”, said Peter, is by Jesus. There is “no other name” that God has given whereby we are to be saved from our sins and ushered into the family and the kingdom of God.
Acts 4:18 Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus.
Acts 5:40 His speech persuaded them. They called the apostles in and had them flogged. Then they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.
•• The Jewish religious leaders in Jerusalem were so opposed to Jesus that they ordered the apostles not to speak or teach in Jesus’ name in Jerusalem.
•• Let me bring that forward to the 21st century in America. The vast majority of Americans claim to be Christians. Yet there is a furious, unrelenting attack in our nation against Christianity. Jesus’ name is a common cuss word. Sincere followers of Jesus are mocked. Nowadays it’s not Jerusalem’s religious leaders, but the USA’s courts, who seem bent on removing every reference to Jesus in the public arena.
•• If you’re not convinced, just try this. In the next secular context you are in — say, a sporting event, a social gathering, or something like that — just interject the name “Jesus” in a positive way into the conversation two or three times. More often than not, you will find that a chill seems to settle upon some of those around you. Unlike any other name associated with religion, the name “Jesus” tends to stir up animosity and mockery — a dead giveaway of how much Satan hates that name!
Acts 4:30 Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.
•• We have spoken sufficiently above about healing. Through Jesus’ name we have access to heaven’s limitless supply of supernatural signs, wonders, healings, and miracles.
Acts 9:27 But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. He told them how Saul on his journey had seen the Lord and that the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus.
•• Anointed preaching, courageous preaching, effective preaching is that which is focused upon Jesus Christ.
• Acts 5:42 ...they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ.
• Acts 8:35, KJV Then Philip...preached unto him Jesus.
• 2 Corinthians 4:5 For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord.
Acts 15:26 ...men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
•• Some sources estimate that there are more than 170,000 Christian martyrs every year in our modern times. These have paid the ultimate price for their faith in Jesus. And just think how many more are “risking their lives” daily in nations hostile to the Gospel. How can they do this? What motivates them? The answer is simple: their lives are fully committed to our Lord Jesus Christ.
Acts 16:18 She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so troubled that he turned around and said to the spirit, “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!” At that moment the spirit left her.
•• Jesus’ name, spoken in faith, gives you power and authority even over demon spirits! A large group of Jesus’ disciples returned from ministering and said to him, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name” (Luke 10:17).
•• A pastor I knew in Anchorage was known to many as a man with great faith to deal with the devil. He was given the nickname “devil whupper”! He understood well the power and authority Jesus gave His followers to overcome the devil in Jesus’ name.
• Recall again that the timeless Great Commission contains a promise from Jesus of this power and authority: “In my name shall [believers] cast out devils...” (Mark 16:17).
Acts 19:17 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.
•• Let this be ever true in your life. Hold Jesus’ name “in high honor”. May it always cross your lips in reverence and respect. Let it be regularly invoked in prayer. Speak that name to your unsaved friends and family, for it has the power to change their lives forever.
•• Let me add a personal reflection here. I have noticed that Christians find it fairly easy to speak the name “Christ” in conversation. But for some reason many seem less comfortable speaking the name “Jesus”. For sure, Jesus is the Christ (Matthew 16:16). But recall the words of the angel to Joseph: “You are to give him the name Jesus...” (Matthew 1:21).
•• I love, honor, and often speak the full name “Lord Jesus Christ”. It occurs (in any order of those three words) 84 times in the New Testament. But by comparison, the name “Jesus” all by itself occurs 903 times in the New Testament. His name in any of its forms (“Jesus ... Christ Jesus ... Lord Jesus ... Lord Jesus Christ ...”, etc.) is wonderful, and nothing in this sermon is intended to minimize that in any way whatsoever. My hope in this message is simply to focus our attention for today on the wonderful name "Jesus", the name above all other names (Philippians 2:9-10).
• Sometime try this devotional recommendation — in a worshipful mood, simply speak the name “Jesus ... Jesus ... Jesus ...” slowly and with the deepest reverence. Say it as often and for as long as you feel to. I guarantee that you will sense the holiness and power of that name and of that holy Person, your Savior.
1 Corinthians 5:4 When you are assembled in the name of our Lord Jesus and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present...
•• This is a vital key to spiritually uplifting church services. Assemble in Jesus’ name, to honor Him, not just to go through some humanly contrived “order of service”. And expect Jesus’ presence to be powerfully manifested when you gather together with your hearts turned to Him.
• Matthew 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
Philippians 2:10 ...at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth...
•• On TV and in the movies I have watched as the citizens of various nations courteously bow (or ladies curtsy) before their king or queen. But I, as a citizen of my country, am not obligated to bow before the kings of other nations. They are not “my” king.
•• But Jesus, by contrast, is “Lord of all” (Acts 10:36). He is the “King of kings” (Revelation 17:14; 19:16). Even the kings of this world’s nations must acknowledge His kingly authority over all. After He had accomplished our redemption, Jesus declared, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me” (Matthew 28:18).
•• It is our obligation, privilege, and joy to bow the knee in reverence and obeisance to King Jesus, the Lord of all.
Colossians 3:17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus...
•• I like the letters on the WWJD bracelet, signifying “What Would Jesus Do?” That thought appropriately causes us to ask: Will this thought (or word or deed) please Jesus? Will it honor Him? Will it cause others to be drawn to Him, or to pull back from Him? Will my conduct glorify Him ... or just draw attention to me?
•• “Whatever you do...do it all” — thought, word, or deed — “in the name of the Lord Jesus”, that wonderful name above all names (Philippians 2:9-10).
©2011, James H. Feeney. Copyright statement.