Here in Acts we continue our journey through the “Three Sixteens” – Peter and John have just gone up to the temple to pray. Peter commands a beggar, lame from birth, to get up and “in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” Literally Peter means a continuous action ‘be walking‘. He grabs him by the right hand to raise him up. “The power was Christ’s but the hand was Peter’s” (John Stott 1990). This healed beggar then famously goes “walking and leaping and praising God!” He becomes the living embodiment of the Messianic age, predicted in Isaiah 35:6, “Then will the lame leap like a deer“.
The result of all this is another hugely important 3:16 verse:
“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 completely healed him, as you can all see.” (Acts 3:16)
Peter explains to those in the temple courts that this healing reveals Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah. He is the promised suffering Servant who brings healing to all the nations. Peter’s own “power or godliness” did not heal the man. It was the power of the risen Lord Jesus. Peter tells the Jews that though they acted in ignorance and killed the “author of life“, this is how “God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, saying that his Christ would suffer“ (verse 18).
This miracle, performed “in the name of Jesus”, brings physical healing and a great testimony. Peter wants them to repent and receive the promised Messiah who can bring them healing, promised healing that is so much more than physical.
“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.” (Ezekiel 36:26-27)
“I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.” (Jeremiah 31:33)
Peter has received the Spirit of the risen Christ, and in Jesus’ name alone can Peter heal. In Jesus’ name we can be healed from our sinful separation from God. He has offered to give us a new heart, a heart transplant. Our sick, dead, un-beating, stony hearts can be replaced. This is the healing we all need to receive – in Jesus’ powerful name.
Finally, here is the link to Chris Tomlin ‘s take on “The Name of Jesus” which he describes as “a saving place to run, a hope unshakeable . . . there is power in Your name, in the name of Jesus there is life and healing, chains are broken in Your name”.
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