Speaking or Praying “In the name of…”

When a message is delivered through a messenger, the result is the same as if the original speaker were present.  For example, when the boy in a family tells his little sister, “Mom said to clean up your room or no desert tonight,” it’s just as though Mom herself is giving the sister the message.  

This is the same impact we have when we speak or pray “in Jesus’ name.”  Since we are speaking under His authority under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, it’s just as though He is speaking or praying through us.  This is a mystical concept that few believers acknowledge or understand.  

Yet, this concept is emphatically realized in the story of the centurion in Capernaum, whose slave Jesus heals.  The result is that the centurion’s faith is praised by Jesus Himself, saying, “Not even in Israel have I found such great faith”  (Matthew 8:10; Luke 7:9).  

In Matthew’s Gospel, the story is told from this perspective:
And when Jesus entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, imploring Him,and saying, “Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, fearfully tormented.”Jesus *said to him, “I will come and heal him.” But the centurion said, “Lord, I am not worthy for You to come under my roof, but just say the word, and my servant will be healed.  (Matthew 8:5-8)  
In Luke’s Gospel, however, this is how the story is told:  
And a centurion’s slave, who was highly regarded by him, was sick and about to die. When he heard about Jesus, he sent some Jewish elders asking Him to come and save the life of his slave. When they came to Jesus, they earnestly implored Him, saying, “He is worthy for You to grant this to him; for he loves our nation and it was he who built us our synagogue.” Now Jesus started on His way with them; and when He was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends, saying to Him, “Lord, do not trouble Yourself further, for I am not worthy for You to come under my roof; for this reason I did not even consider myself worthy to come to You, but just say the word, and my servant will be healed.  (Luke 7:2-7)

Notice the difference:  In Matthew the centurion himself speaks to Jesus, asking that his servant be healed, while in Luke, the centurion sends some Jewish elders to make the request.  The end result is that the servant is healed, yet in Luke’s Gospel, Jesus never even sees the centurion in person, while the man’s faith is still acclaimed and praised by Jesus.

In fact, the message the centurion sends with the messengers emphasizes this mystical concept, for the words of the Jewish messengers are not only the same as those of the centurion himself, but also he applies the same concept to his own life as a Roman officer who gives the orders of his superiors to his men who serve beneath him in the military hierarchy.  

In effect, when the centurion gave orders, it was just as though Caesar himself was giving the orders. The centurion recognized that this same relationship applied to Christ’s and His Father in Heaven, and because of this understanding, the centurion was greatly praised by Jesus.  

Again, this is our power and authority when we speak or pray “in Jesus’ name.”  Since we are speaking under His authority under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, it’s just as though He is speaking or praying through us. Like the centurion, we also need to have this same understanding when we speak or pray in Jesus name!

See the rest of the story in both versions, Matthew 8:5-13 and Luke 7:2-10.

    
 In Luke’s Gospel                                       In Matthew’s Gospel

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