question and response

Healing in the Name of Jesus

Why couldn’t / didn’t Peter heal in the name of the Holy Spirit? Acts 1:8 – Christ promises “power when the Holy Spirit comes upon [them]” Acts 3:6 – Peter heals in the name of Jesus.

I tried to find a reference about Jesus giving direction or instruction about healing in his name. The only reference that I could find was in Mark:

“Teacher,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.”
“Do not stop him,” Jesus said. “No one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, for whoever is not against us is for us. Truly I tell you, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to the Messiah will certainly be rewarded. Mark 9:38-41, TNIV

In John 10:25, Jesus refers to his healing “in my Father’s name.” But I could not find a reference of any one healing in the name of the Holy Spirit. (By the way, when I say that I could not find it – I most often use the keyword search at which I have found to be quite usable and useful.)

My sense is that the power of healing is rooted in the power of the resurrection – Jesus’ conquering of death. In Acts 1:8 Jesus says that they will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on them, not necessarily that the power is of the Holy Spirit.

This the best response that I can formulate at this time, but I am a bit unsatisfied with it. What would you add?

This question came out of a young adult small group taster last Sunday morning in which I taught about the question “What is the Trinity?”

By Andrew Conard

Christian, husband, son, brother, homeowner

6 replies on “Healing in the Name of Jesus”

I wonder if you might also look to Matthew 28, where Jesus says that all power and authority has been given to him. Since the power and authority belongs to Jesus, anything done in power would be done in Jesus’ name. Much like an assistant that will write a letter for his or her boss and still end it with the boss’s name. Not a perfect example, as the assistant will usually sign her or his name to show that it didn’t come directly from the boss.

Will – Thanks for brining up Matthew 28, I think that you make a good connection there. Interesting example, I agree that it does not work all the way, but is helpful.

Upon reflection of this question at greater length, I went looking for the first commentary on Acts that came to mind, the Brazos Commentary on Acts of the Apostles by Jaroslav Pelikan, but I couldn’t find any excerpts online. So I went to Old Faithful, and found a commentary on this passage that was very thought-provoking (see website).

After reading this passage, my attitude towards Christ has fundamentally changed. I was reminded of passages where Christ relegated His own power beneath that of the Father, as in John 5:19, “Jesus gave them this answer: “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.”

Let me just put in the whole of Jn 5:19-30:

19Jesus gave them this answer: “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. 20For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, to your amazement he will show him even greater things than these. 21For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it. 22Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, 23that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him.

24″I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life. 25I tell you the truth, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live. 26For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son to have life in himself. 27And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man.

28″Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice 29and come out—those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned. 30By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.

Wow! So if we stop right there – Father has given ability to raise the dead to the Son, Son has been entrusted as the Great Judge, and yet the Son insists that His judgement is in complete deference to the “him who sent me”.

Jesus speaks in Mt 10:20 regarding the “Spirit of the Father”…

The website commentary goes into great discussion (as you Faithful Readers know who read it!) regarding our Spirit-baptism, and therein I think lies the key: the Spirit *is* our new life. Whether we receive the Spirit from Christ or the Father is not for sure in my opinion, the issue is arbitrary to me anyway. Christ brings us to the Father, from whom we (Christ and we) receive the Holy Spirit, our new life in Christ.

Christ reveals the Father to us, “No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him” Mt 11:27; and again in John 1:18, “No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father’s side, has made him known”
Jn 3:34-35 “For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God[a] gives the Spirit without limit. 35The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands. ”

The Father has given the Son all power and authority, as a gift – just like the gift of the Holy Spirit! We receive power and authority in Christ’s name, because of Christ’s intercession on our behalf. Because Christ paid the price, He reconciled us to God the Father and earned us the right to receive new life in Christ *through the Holy Spirit*.

So I say, Christ dwells in me because He joined Himself to me through the Incarnation, through the Holy Eucharist, and any works of my hands that please the Father can be recognized as the issuing or outpouring of the Holy Spirit from the Temple that Christ imputed on my heart the day I repented and believed the Good News, and claimed God’s perfect Will for my life.

Yes I know the verse about Christ working in me to do good. Actually it is Phil. 2:13, “it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose” …that doesn’t say Christ…just God, so I claim that divine act for the Holy Spirit too!

So then if God is a fire, the Father is the oxygen and fuel, the Son is the flame, and the Spirit is the heat and smoke.

Sorry this is so long.

Just one sinner’s thoughts.

Last night (Thursday, May 15, 2008) I watched Todd Bentley on GodTV healing people in “the name of the anointing”. This struck me as odd and didn’t sit well withing my spirit as this does not seem to be supported by Scripture. Todd went on to say something like, “Bam! Be healed in the name of the anointing!” He did this a number of times during this service. Why would he not heal in the name of Jesus? I am struggling with Todd Bentley’s ministry over this.

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