A person can study chapter 14 of John most of his life, for within its content is a wealth of essential information that helps the Christian live victoriously. In the lead verse it says that anyone who has faith in me (Jesus) will do what I have been doing. During my lifetime I havenít anyone doing the miracles that Jesus did regularly and it is rare that you hear of divine miracles in the United States.
However, the scriptures tell us that we shall do greater things, referring to the miracles of Christ if we have faith in Jesus. The passage below deals with something other than personal salvation because its content is placed within an explanation about healing a beggar.
Acts 4:12 appears in the discussion Peter had with the Sanhedrin over the question of how the beggar was healed at the temple gate called Beautiful in chapter 3. The question the members of the Sanhedrin asked was this.
Members of the Sanhedrin or the ruling council posed question like this to get to the root of their dilemma about the authority established by God through Moses. Their goal was to put an end to the teaching that conflicted with the law. While they were the authority of God, they were actually opposing the changes God was making in his covenant.
The answer given by Peter astonished the highly educated members of the Sanhedrin as Peter was an ordinary man and unschooled in the things of the divine. Yet because he was a disciple of Jesus, Peter spoke with boldness and authority through the Holy Spirit.
During his discourse he spoke of the authority of the name of Jesus whom the Sanhedrin by Godís plan crucified. They said, it is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth whom God raised from the dead that this man stands before you healed.
Remember what Jesus said, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. Peter invoked the name of Jesus before the beggar followed by a gentle tug lifting the beggar to his feet. As a result the beggar leaped and walked with the feet healed by the power of Jesusí name.
Most Christians believe that Acts 4:12 deals with the deliverance from hell and being saved, but the idea is not in context. In the Greek language the word rendered as Salvation refers to a place of safety. The word name refers to a person, authority and character of the person named. And finally the word saved refers to care for the sick, to treat, cure, and heal. Therefore Acts 4:12 was pertinent to Peterís argument.
There is no other name but Jesus and when Peter spoke in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk, Peter released his trust and faith in Jesus Christ to heal the beggar.
I think we should consider that Peter was not taking credit for healing the beggar, but gave glory to Jesus for healing the beggar. Letís also consider if Peter spoke in the authority of Jesus Christ?
Each of us has to determine whether Jesus gave us the authority to invoke his name to serve God. Are we his disciple and do we have the power and authority to use his name in bringing many into the kingdom of God.
If Stephen was a disciple empowered with Godís authority we must also consider why the scriptures say that he was full of God's grace and power, preforming signs and wonders among the people. Paul referred to Christís disciples as Godís Ambassadors who have been given a ministry of reconciliation. Therefore it seems logical that Godís ambassadors would be given the ability to speak on behalf of Jesus Christ.
Most Christians close their prayers in the name of Jesus as if it were assurance for a favorable answer. Most Christians cannot tell you why we use the name of Jesus in prayer so closing prayer in Jesus name has become like a formality.
Is it possible that asking anything in Jesus name has a different meaning than generally accepted? The Seven sons of Sceva invoked the name of Jesus to cast out demons, but the demon said, Jesus I know, and I know about Paul, but who are you? According to Paul those in Christ Jesus are sealed with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13,) which is a mark denoting that they have a relationship with God and his son.
Peter gave his faith in the name of Jesus. All Christians have faith but for the most part are hesitant to use the measure of faith God has given us.
For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. Romans 12:3