Event(s): Peter’s message in Solomon’s Portico
Today’s Text: Acts 3:11-26
Tomorrow’s Text: Acts 4:1-22
As is often true throughout the book of Acts, most events led to an explanation that had to be given. But Jesus had already prepared the disciples for this. He told them, “When you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities, do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.” Luke 12:11-12 NIV
In both Peter’s response to the people and as we will see later, in his response to the rulers, Jesus’ promised was fulfilled. Peter knew exactly how to respond.
Acts 3:11 “all the people ran together to them” All the glory and all the honor for any miraculous work goes to Jesus. If and when God allows us to be involved in a healing or miracle, it will no doubt draw attention. However, we must be intentional about not letting others put us up on a pedestal, but point to the One from whom all blessings flow.
“In his sermon at Pentecost, Peter had to refute the accusation that the believers were drunk. In this sermon, he had to refute the notion that he and John had healed the man by their own power.” –Wiersbe
Acts 3:16a “through faith in His name” A name represents all the inherent qualities of the person with whom it’s associated. A name, in and of itself, does not contain power, but it can carry authority. This was certainly the case with the name of Jesus.
After His crucifixion and resurrection, one of the last things Jesus said to His disciples before ascending to the Father, was that all authority had been given to Him, in heaven and on earth (Matthew 28:18). He then transferred His authority and His mission to His disciples (Matthew 28:19), and ultimately, to “whosoever will, would come”. In that, He basically said, now you have been granted authority to go do what I did.
There are miracles and healings that are performed with power. The Greek word for power is dunamis, which defined means a supernatural energy, might, great force, ability or strength. However, this particular miracle, as Peter clearly stated, was a result of this man’s faith in the authority of Jesus’ name. If the man didn’t believe or have confidence in who Jesus was or in His divine power, he would not have responded to Peter’s invitation to “rise up and walk”.
Acts 3:16b “given him this perfect soundness” This refers to an unimpaired condition of the body in which all its members are healthy and fit for use. Again, it was faith in the name of Jesus that had accounted for this complete, total healing.
How does delegated authority work? How are we able to invoke the name of Jesus and draw on His authority? It’s certainly not an act of superstition or using His name as a “lucky charm”. Let’s look at this more closely and hopefully, make it simple to understand.
Some of us may be familiar with a legal document called a Power of Attorney. This is a document in which one person delegates their authority to another to act on their behalf, in their absence.
For example, those with children may be familiar with this in signing some of the forms that are required when a child is to participate on a field trip. The purpose of those document(s) is so that the parents can delegate their authority to whoever will be responsible for their child. That way, should an emergency arise where medical attention is needed, the one with the delegated authority may act on the behalf of the parent to ensure the child gets the care they need.
That’s one degree of authority. But there are varying degrees of authority that can be granted with other types of powers of attorney.
As we read earlier, before Jesus ascended to the Father, He transferred (or delegated) His authority and His mission to His disciples (and ultimately to us who believe). Not to do whatever they wanted to with it, but to act on His behalf, as He would have, with His best interests in mind.
As followers of Christ, we have been granted this authority. You could say, to use our illustration, we have His “power of attorney” written on the tablets of our hearts, signed with the blood of His name, sealed and notarized by the presence of the Holy Spirit living on the inside of us, which is the proof that Jesus gave us this authority.
What are we granted authority to do? To go about doing what Jesus did. Wherever we see the works of the evil one attempting to steal, kill or destroy – because Jesus has already conquered all of this – we can invoke His name and through the authority in His name, overcome evil with good. We can “do business” on His behalf. This is the reason why when we pray, we typically close our prayer by saying, “In Jesus’ name”.
It’s one thing to have authority delegated to us. It’s another thing to believe we have it. It’s yet another thing altogether to act upon it. The truth is, far too often, we end up making allowances for things we were meant to conquer. Today, consider where in your life you could really use the authority of Jesus’ name to bring breakthrough. It’s time to pull out our “spiritual power of attorney” and start doing some kingdom business.