Thoughts for the Day

Saturday, 1st January 2022: The name of Jesus - 2

Jesus Christ Acts 3 Name of Jesus Disciples Jerusalem

Reading : Verses from Acts, Chapter 3

Jerusalem Gate

One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, at three o’clock in the afternoon. And a man lame from birth was being carried in. People would lay him daily at the gate of the temple called the Beautiful Gate so that he could ask for alms from those entering the temple. When he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked them for alms. Peter looked intently at him, as did John, and said, ‘Look at us.’ And he fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them. But Peter said, ‘I have no silver or gold, but what I have I give you; in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, stand up and walk.’ And he took him by the right hand and raised him up; and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong. Jumping up, he stood and began to walk, and he entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. All the people saw him walking and praising God, and they recognized him as the one who used to sit and ask for alms at the Beautiful Gate of the temple; and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.

(Church in Wales Lectionary, New Revised Standard Version)


We have looked at the ceremonies carried out by Joseph and Mary during the first few weeks of Jesus' life, which included naming the baby. But now we move on 33 years to after His death and resurrection, when the disciples have received the power of the Holy Spirit. We see Peter and John entering the walled city of Jerusalem to pray in the Temple. Jerusalem was a walled city and over the centuries many gates have been built or destroyed. If they entered by the Golden Gate (or Gate of Mercy) that leads from the Mount of Olives then we can imagine that they would have seen the beggar frequently as they travelled from the nearby village where they stayed into Jerusalem and the temple each day. This particular gate was blocked up centuries ago, but this and the other seven gates have always fascinated me every time I have been to the Holy Land.

Peter commands the man to look at John and himself, and then there is almost a pregnant pause. We have seen how important and powerful names are, and so in this the first miracle after Jesus left them, Peter says "In the name of Jesus of Nazareth, stand up and walk". He turns the word 'Nazareth' - a title of abuse and ridicule - into something wonderful. The name 'Jesus' means something like 'to save, or to liberate', and we should remember that Jesus taught his disciples that anything they asked for in His name He would do! (John 14).

May we remember this when we pray today, and may we also be brave enough to encourage others not to use the name 'Jesus' as a swear word.


Jesus, Lord and Saviour,
may we revere Your name,
knowing that it can free us
from all trouble and stress.
Encourage us to be respectful
of Your name and not to use it
casually or indiscriminately.

Follow Up Thoughts

You might like to look up the following site (for fun only) to look at the names for Jesus - 103 here, I think:

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