The woman was indignant. “I don’t need your religion. I have faith of my own!”
“In what?” the man countered.
“Faith in the universe” she answered. “Faith in myself. Faith in humanity.”
“Your faith is badly misplaced.” He replied.
“Faith” has become a popular word in our culture. Dictionaries define faith as “sincerity or a strong conviction” and to a point that is correct. But that sincere, strong conviction must have the right object. Please grab your Bible and read Acts 3-4:12) – I’ll wait for you here.
Peter and John are headed to the temple for the afternoon prayer. As they approached the gate, they encountered a lame man begging for money. They didn’t give him what he wanted; they gave him what he desperately needed. “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk” (v. 6). And he did. They pulled him to his feet and those feet held strong. I love the image of this once crippled man “walking and jumping and praising God” as he entered the temple courts (v.8). And the people watching were “filled with wonder and amazement” (v. 10). I reckon so.
But notice Peter’s exact words: “In the name of Jesus Christ.” And that made the miracle. While the people gathered around to witness the sight, Peter said: “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” (v. 16).
Peter would continue this theme as he and John stand before the Sanhedrin (the Jewish court). “It is by the name of Jesus Christ . . . that this man stands before you healed” (Acts 4:10). And he boldly declared: “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 is the gospel we must declare. Faith in anything other than the name of Jesus, as the man said to the “faith-filled” woman, is badly misplaced. Eternally misplaced.
One of my granddaughter’s favorite songs is “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, there’s just something about that name.” I’ve sung her to sleep with it all her life. The something about the name of Jesus is power. Healing power. Wonder-working power. Saving power. Beloved, do you know this power? Do you know the Name of Jesus?