by Gerry Fry
Christmas is to be a celebration that is all about Jesus. The proclamation of the angel Gabriel to Mary and Joseph was, “You shall call His name Jesus!” (Matt. 1:21) This is the One who was the Eternal Word, the One who was God and who was with God, the One by whom all things were made (John 1:1-2), the One who became flesh and dwelt among us to reveal the glory of God in a human body. And He would carry the name Jesus.
There is incomparable power in that name. There is salvation, forgiveness, healing, deliverance, hope and access to the throne of grace in that name. Paul declared in Philippians 2:9-11, “God has highly exalted Him and given Him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Oh the wonder of that name!
Peter proclaimed in Acts 4:12, “There is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” Jesus said in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” Our access to a relationship with the one true Living God is Jesus! And we are to pray in the name of Jesus. In John 14:3, He promises, “Whatever you ask in My name (Jesus), that will I do, that the Father may be glorified. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.”
Asking in Jesus’ name is not just tacking the name of Jesus onto our prayers. To pray in the name of Jesus means to be in relationship with Jesus, living in harmony with the truth of God’s Word, submitting my life to the Spirit of Christ, the Holy Spirit, and praying in harmony with the mind and attitude of our Lord Jesus Christ.
It is in the name of Jesus that we are to reach out to lift up those who are hurting, broken and bound. Peter proclaimed to the man who was crippled, having never walked, and who had just been brought to the Temple to ask for alms: “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk” (Acts 3:6). The astonished crowd then heard Peter declare: “By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through Him that has given this complete healing to him, as you can all see” (vs. 16). Because of this, Peter was arrested and brought before the rulers. He said to them, “It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but who God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed.”
Yet today this wonderful and glorious name of Jesus is being maligned, abused and belittled, as well as being used in profanity and cursing. You hear this on the job, in schools, and in everyday conversation. You hear His name used in movies, TV and books often enough, yet too frequently it is simply treated as a swear word. To be politically correct, you don’t dare pray in the name of Jesus, but instead “in the name of God.” Even some churches and ministers have sought to be more “relevant” by avoiding using the name of Jesus altogether.
During Christmastime this year, may we rise up to proclaim the wonder of the name of Jesus! He is our Lord, our Savior, our Healer and our Deliverer. He is the One who is highly exalted to the right hand of the Majesty on high and yet dwells within us with resurrection power by the Spirit of Christ! Let’s choose to live our lives by celebrating Jesus — this One who is the Son of Man and the Son of God.
We celebrate Jesus in our lives by giving to Him our worship and all the glory and honor He deserves. We exalt His name with high praise and adoration. We exalt His name by acknowledging His righteousness, His holiness, and His faithfulness, ascribing to Him the greatness of His love, His goodness and His power.
We celebrate Jesus by seeking His face. We exalt Jesus when we truly repent and allow the Holy Spirit to remove the veils that cloud our vision from seeing His beauty and glory. Then, with unveiled face, we behold Him as we earnestly seek Him and allow the Holy Spirit to transform us.
We celebrate Jesus by relying on Him who is the essence of faith as we believe the truth of what He has done through His powerful Word and His precious promises — as we choose to trust Him no matter what the circumstances.
We celebrate Jesus by obeying Him and His Word with our whole heart.
We celebrate Jesus by submitting to the Holy Spirit.
We celebrate Jesus by the words we speak, by our conduct, by our love for one another and our love for the lost.
May this Christmas be filled with the glory of His love, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit as we celebrate His name!