Mark 16:17, 18 “And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; “they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
There is POWER in the NAME of JESUS! We've been looking at the name of Jesus and what that word “name” really means by Biblical definition. The Greek noun for “name” is onoma and we saw yesterday that it has several different meanings according to its use in the verse and content of the passage of Scripture. In Mark 16:17 where it says “In My name” Jesus was referring to what would happen when the disciples or followers of Christ Jesus would represent Him to those who were needing salvation in their lives. The phrase “in My name” in this verse of scripture falls under the definition of “in the power of” meaning that when a believer in Christ Jesus speaks or acts in the power of the name of Jesus the results that He spoke of would happen: demons would be cast out, they would speak with new tongues, they would take up serpents and not be hurt, they would encounter deadly poisons and even though they drank them they would not be hurt and they would lay hands on the sick and they would recover. When we represent Jesus we are His ambassadors and speak for Him through the authority that He has placed within us. We are not operating in the power of our own name, but of His. We are doing His work, not ours, and thus He has equipped us as His representatives to continue the work that He did on the earth.
Another example of the definition of “in the power of” when using the name of Jesus is in Luke 10:17:
Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.”
Jesus responded to that statement made by His disciples with this:
Luke 10:19 “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”
Jesus wasn't talking about snakes and scorpions, He was referring to the demonic realm. The disciples had said that even the demons were subject to them in the power of His name. One of the names of the devil is “serpent”. He was identified as a serpent in the Garden of Eden when he tempted Eve to eat the forbidden fruit and he was still being identified as a serpent in Revelation 12:9:
So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
Satan is a defeated foe and when we come up against a person who is demonized and in need of deliverance we have the name of Jesus to use in bringing them into freedom. Jesus has given us the power in His name to rule over the demonic realm that oppresses people! We do not have to fear what the devil might do to us when we know who we are in Christ Jesus. In Mark 16:18 when Jesus said they would take up serpents He was not talking about snake handling! He was saying that demons would not be able to continue harassing people when a believer comes against it in the name of Jesus! All power in the Name has been given to His disciples or followers to do the work of ministry.
Acts 3:6 Then Peter said, “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.”
Another example is shown us here in this verse of scripture. This is the first recorded miracle performed by the disciples and in it is a key for all believers in using the authority of the name of Jesus in ministering the healing that is in the salvation that Jesus died to give us. When commanding healing to come forth in the lame man Peter employed the full name/title of our Lord: “Jesus Christ [Messiah] of Nazareth. “Jesus”, the name Yay-soos, meaning “He shall save”, Christ, His title meaning the Messiah, the anointed One, of Nazareth, denoting who He was in His humanity by the city that He was from. The declaration of His whole name and title professes His lordship as the Christ (Messiah), and His name as Jesus (Savior) over sickness, disease, or demons. As we saw yesterday in Philippians 2:9 that God has highly exalted Jesus and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth. Evidently, as the name of Jesus was used in its power over the lame man's illness, sickness and disease is a name that is under the name of Jesus and must respond to the order to be gone, when commanded by the power that is in His name!
Acts 16:16-18 Now it happened, as we went to prayer, that a certain slave girl possessed with a spirit of divination met us, who brought her masters much profit by fortune-telling. This girl followed Paul and us, and cried out, saying, “These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation.” And this she did for many days. But Paul, greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And he came out that very hour.
This girl was demonized and that demon that was influencing her was mocking Paul and Silas by following them everywhere they went saying they were servants of God who came to tell them the way of salvation. The demon wasn't saying that to influence people to come to Paul and Silas to learn of salvation in Jesus, but in a mocking, belittling way to make fun of them. Paul finally spoke the command for the spirit to come out of the girl in the name of Jesus Christ and it had to obey! That spirit met the power that was in Paul through God's Spirit and when Paul exerted his authority through the name of Jesus the demon had to do what he said!
Using the name of Jesus in speaking to the sick for healing to come forth or for demons to leave is not a formula for success because we see a lot of times that healing and deliverance does not come or happen as a result of a Christian ministering to someone who is sick or demonized. Why are people not always healed or delivered when we speak life to their bodies and command sickness and disease to leave? That question has stopped a lot of believers from ministering healing or deliverance to people in their need. The fault does not lie in the power that is in the name of Jesus because that power is ALL-POWERFUL, nor does it lie in the faith or lack of faith that the person might have who is sick, nor is it in the faith or lack of faith in the person who is ministering prayer for healing; it is simply a question that we will only know the answer to when we get to heaven and can ask the Lord. Only God knows why some are healed and some aren't. But, we should not shy away from ministering healing or deliverance in the name of Jesus because we can clearly see that Jesus intended for His followers to carry on His work that He came to do that His kingdom might be furthered on this earth until His return. We simply must do our part to fulfill the Great Commission and expect God to confirm His word with the accompanying signs.
Mark 16:20 And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen.
God was right there with them as they preached the word and ministered in His name to confirm His word with the accompanying signs. We are co-laborers with Christ; He is the Head, and we are His body. He gives the orders and we do as He says in ministering through the power of His name!
There are more examples of the definition of “in His name” or “in the power of” His name. I have just given you a few to show some verses that use that particular definition so that you can get a better understanding of the authority and power God has bestowed upon His children to carry out His word in this world around us. We are ambassadors for God as stated in 2 Corinthians 5:20 and as such He has equipped us to do His work in our world!
Father, I thank You for the name of Jesus and the power that is resident in the authority that You have given us as Your ambassadors to minister through His name. Thank You for empowering us to do the work of ministry as Your ambassadors on this earth. Father, I pray this morning for those who may not understand the authority and power You have given them in Your name and ministering through it. I ask You to open the eyes of our understanding to see clearly what You have given us to do in continuing the work that You began on this earth when ministering to the sick and hurting. I pray that we each will take our rightful places as Your body, listening to Your commands to minister in the way that You would have us to, not under our own power and ability, but through Yours at Your direction. Thank You, Father, for confirming Your word with the accompanying signs when we are faithful to minister Your healing word to those who are sick. Thank You for confirming Your word through the accompanying signs for setting those free who are under demonic influence. Thank You for confirming Your word through the accompanying signs when we minster to those who need to come to know Jesus as Savior and Lord. You are working in each person's life as they have need and as we follow Your leading to minister salvation to them You have promised to confirm the word that we minister through the accompanying signs of salvation! Thank You, Lord! These things I pray in the Name of Jesus! Amen!