What could possibly turn an impetuous, weak fisherman into a mighty preacher? What could cause a man who denied and cursed his teacher to gladly endure imprisonment for proclaiming that same name? What could empower a rag-tag bunch of timid fellows who’ve lost their leader into bold and fearless men who turned the whole world upside down? The conviction that what they have seen and experienced – and the One who made it all happen – is the real deal.
The fourth chapter of Acts (read vs. 1-12) opens with Peter and John in the temple teaching about Jesus and His resurrection. This did not sit well with the ruling religious authorities and the pair was thrown into jail. As the convening counsel questioned them the next day, Peter, who once denied the Lord three times, stood in the power of the Holy Spirit, and boldly declared the name of “Jesus Christ of Nazareth.” The name that healed a crippled man, but more than that, the name that brings salvation to all men. “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” (v. 12).
That declaration still holds true more than two thousand years later. There is still no other name but the name of Jesus Christ that can change men’s eternal destiny. Allah cannot save. Brahman cannot save. Confucius cannot save. Buddha cannot save. Nor can Muhammad, Krishna, the Dalai Lama, or the Pope. Not even Mary, the mother of Jesus can save anyone. And the biggest news flash of all – you cannot save yourself. Neither your name nor any other name has the power and authority to defeat death and eternal condemnation.
Our modern, “inclusive” culture wants to claim that you can believe anything and be granted some kind of glorious hereafter, as long as you are sincere. But sincerely will not save you. You can be whole-heartedly sincere all the way to hell. Only the name of Jesus carries any weight before the Eternal God of Heaven and Earth.
But it is not five letters strung together that give this name power. There were lots of men named Jesus (the Greek version of Joshua) before and after, but there was only one Jesus Christ. Only one Son of God. Only one God-Man who came from heaven lived a perfect, sinless life, died a criminal’s death He did not deserve, lay in a sealed tomb, and walked out three days later, gloriously alive. This is the Name that changes everything. Beloved, is your faith in the name of Jesus Christ?