The Nazarene

“Peter said, ‘I have no silver or gold, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, stand up and walk’” (Acts 3:6, NIV).

Only in Acts 3:6 and 4:10 do we find this threefold name of our Lord. This amazing combination of names brings to bear on the lame man’s hopeless situation the saving grace of Emmanuel, the authority of Messiah, and the healing power of the God-Man from Galilee. For this poor beggar, who may have sat begging at the temple gate called Beautiful even while Jesus walked past him and healed others, the delayed ministration of God’s mercy had finally come.

Both for this man and for us, we can hear in this threefold name the echoes of the Christmas story. Matthew 1:21 declares, “You will name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins” and the great chorus of the heavenly host declaring, “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord” (Luke 2:11). In Matthew 21:11, 14, “The crowds were saying, ‘This is the Prophet Jesus, from Nazareth in Galilee.’ … The blind and lame came to him in the temple courts, and He healed them.”

Jesus left this man’s need for Peter and John to meet, and in those remarkable words, “what I do have I give you,” they brought salvation and healing to this one who had long waited for deliverance. Is it any wonder that this man, overwhelmed by God’s healing touch, jumped to his feet and entered the temple, walking and leaping and praising God? No longer needing to sit by the Beautiful Gate, this man, along with the redeemed through the ages, praises the name of the One called Beautiful, Jesus Christ the Nazarene. Let us this Christmas, who, like the disciples, have been left with the task of giving “what we have,” boldly proclaim the power of that name in the gospel of Christ.