There's Power In A Name
As we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit of divination and brought her owners much gain by fortune-telling. She followed Paul and us, crying out, "These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to you the way of salvation." And this she kept doing for many days. Paul, having become greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, "I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her." And it came out that very hour. — Acts 16:16-18
We see here that the disciples, who are now Paul, Silas, Timothy, and Luke, are making regular trips outside the city to the before-mentioned "place of prayer." Basically, what you have here is the start of a local Philippian group-based church. Obviously, the disciples are trying to be respectful and are moving their gathering outside of the city. But a possessed slave girl keeps drawing attention to them. And you'll notice that she, even though possessed by a demon, recognizes two things about these men: their God-given role and their God-given message. It's clear that this goes on for a while until Paul has had enough. And we can assume that numerous things about this situation agitate Paul. First, how the enemy is using her. Second, how her masters are using her, so Paul expels the spirit from this girl in the name of Jesus.
You know, I think we underestimate the power behind the name of Jesus. You see, everything in this life has a name. Everything. And names are important because they are the source of meaning and thus our identity. If you go back to the beginning of the bible to the garden, God gave man the power to name the earth's creatures. And as he named them, man imparted to them their identity. Even after God created woman, man gave her a name as well and thus imparted to her an identity. Woman means "out of man." And mankind continues to do this, to name things inside of creation. And so, everything in this life has a name.
But when it comes to Jesus, he was given a name outside of creation. He was delivered a name by an angel sent from God. God named his one and only son. And that name Jesus. Check this out in Matthew 1:20-21.
"...an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, 'Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.'" — Matthew 1:20-21
And with this name came a meaning and identity straight from the mouth of God. The name Jesus means, "God Is Salvation." And with this name comes an identity not given by man but God himself. And it is powerful.
And Paul knew this. Even as he writes later to the people of Philippi, he says this.
Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. — Philippians 2:9-11
I bet as Paul wrote these words to the Philippians, he remembered speaking the name Jesus to that little slave girl. Because the name of Jesus has power, it was a name crafted by the lungs and vocal cords of God himself. And with it, he named his Son and our Savior — Jesus.
So go and speak his name today.
ASK THIS: Where can you speak the name of Jesus today? (Share below).
DO THIS: Speak his name at least one time today.
PRAY THIS: God, as men across the world, and I speak your name today — expel demons, heal the sick, cast out sin, and raise men to life. In Jesus's name, Amen.
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Read through the Bible daily with Vince Miller.