What does it mean to “Do” something in the name of someone else?
Paul said, “John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied. Acts 19:4-6
We learn something about John the Baptist in each of the four Gospels. He was baptizing so that the people could repent of their sins, thus, preparing them to meet Jesus. John was “doing.” His message was strong: everyone is a sinner. And when they repented and were baptized by John, this act acknowledged their willingness to stop living evil lives and start following God’s way. (And soon, these people of Israel would learn that The Way, was actually living among them.)
In Acts chapter 19, the Apostle Paul is traveling through Ephesus and comes across a group of twelve disciples. Paul was “doing.” He asked them if they had received the Holy Spirit. “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit,” they replied. Paul then asks who baptized them. They replied “John’s baptism.”
Paul then explained the meaning of John’s baptism. And that John had said the people were to believe in the one coming after him, which was Jesus. Paul then baptized them (doing) “in the name of the Lord Jesus.”
What does it mean to “do” something, commit an act, in the name of someone else? To correctly use someone else’s name, means that someone has handed over their authority to us for its use. We are truly admitting our own name has no value in the particular circumstance. And we are getting the job done, because we have been given a certain higher power than our own name could ever offer. The fact that we understand we have no power or control in the situation, demonstrates our belief and faith in the name WILL get us through.
The Apostles had faith in the name of Jesus because:
- they saw and knew Jesus raise Lazarus from the dead
- they witnessed Jesus’ miracles
- they heard Jesus share The Word of God
- they saw Jesus eat, walk and talk among them after He was crucified
- Thomas was invited by Jesus to touch the wounds on His hands and side and believed He was The Resurrected
- Paul heard and knew Jesus speak to him on the road to Damascus.
These acts instilled faith in the power of His name. And it was their faith and belief in the Son of God, that invited the Holy Spirit to come upon them, allowing them to “do”: baptize, heal, preach and drive out demons. Their faith in the name of Jesus grew and empowered them to “do” miraculous things.
Jesus knew the disciples believed in Him because of the miracles He preformed right in front of them. And I am sure this pleased Him each time they understood more about who He really is. It meant they understood the power of His name. But I love the second part of John 20:29:”blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
Jesus knew future generations would not physically see Him. Our belief comes from accepting The Word. Accepting grows our faith, inviting the Holy Spirit, and allowing us to also call on the name of the Lord. The Name above all names. And “do” as the Apostles did.
If you would like to find belief in the power of Jesus’ name, sung with authority and reverence, listen to Break Every Chain, written by Will Reagan and preformed by Jesus Culture. Every time I hear this song, my head automatically bows down and my arms are compelled to rise up. My surrender Lifts Him Up.
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