Matthew 18:20 “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”
We’ve been studying “what’s in the name” of Jesus so this morning we’re going to look at yet another one of the Biblical definitions of the Greek word for “name”, omoma, and that is “in recognition of the authority of (sometimes combined with the thought of relying or resting on).
The above scripture is one of the verses where the word “onoma” or “name” is defined in Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old And New Testament Words as falling under the definition of “in recognition of the authority of (sometimes combined with the thought of relying or resting on). In rendering this definition of Matthew 18:20 we would say that what Jesus was saying was that “For where two are three are gathered together in My authority, recognizing it and relying or resting upon Me, I am there in the midst of them.” We often think of this verse as meaning when we come together as Christians that He is there in the midst of us, but when we look at the actual meaning of the Greek word and apply it’s definition to the scripture we see a completely different truth. The power does not rest in the number of people who are Christians coming together, it rests in two or three who gather together in recognition of the authority of Jesus Christ and relying and resting upon the power that is resident within them because of who they are in Him. There is authority in the Name of Jesus!
Matthew 28:19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit;
In this verse the proper rendering of the definition would cause it to read “baptizing them in the authority of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”.
Acts 8:16 For as yet He had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
Again, the proper rendering of the definition of “name” in this verse would cause it to read, “They had only been baptized in the authority of the Lord Jesus”. A person receives the Holy Spirit to live within them when they receive Jesus as Savior and Lord, but the Holy Spirit comes upon a person in the power that is promised in the book of Acts through the baptism of the Holy Spirit. These people were saved because of believing in the authority of Jesus Christ but they wanted the baptism of the Holy Spirit which they received when Peter and John laid hands on them. There was an evidence of the Holy Spirit coming upon them because Simon wanted to pay them to give him that power as well.
John 14:13 “And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.”
In this verse, according to the proper rendering of the definition, it would read, “And whatever you ask in My authority, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.”
Are you praying in the authority that Jesus has given you or are you simply tacking on the end of your prayer, “in the name of Jesus I pray”? There’s a difference between praying in the authority that He has given us and repeating the phrase as a formula for success. God isn’t into formulas, He works through faith in the authority that has been place in His children through their relationship with Jesus Christ.
John 15:16 “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.”
In looking at the proper rendering of the definition of the word “name”, onoma, in this verse, it would read, “and that whatever you ask the Father according to My authority He may give you”.
When praying effectively it is important that we understand that we pray through the authority that comes from who we are in Christ Jesus, not what we say in rote repetition. God honors the prayers of those who recognize the authority that they have as a believer in Christ Jesus. Faith moves God, not the simply the words that we use. He looks into the heart of man to see on what basis we are using to appear before Him. If we are simply repeating a form of prayer we show that we really do not have faith in the authority of Jesus, but are simply using a prayer formula.
Colossians 3:17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
With the proper rendering of the definition of the word “name” in this verse it would mean that everything that we do as believers should be done in recognition of the authority of the Lord Jesus in our lives. It truly is in Him that we live and move and have our being. (Acts 17:28) We do not live two different lives; one in the secular world and one in the spiritual arena. All that we do revolves around who we are in Christ Jesus. There is no separation between our spiritual and natural lives. They meld together into one in Him. Have you thought of your work as being an act of spiritual worship? Do you consider your occupation as being secular or spiritual? According to this verse everything that we do is included as a part of our spiritual lives.
I’ve given you several different scriptures that use the definition for the word “name” in the Greek as being “in recognition of the authority of (sometimes combined with the thought of relying or resting on). Because there is such a difference in Western and Eastern language definitions, it really is difficult to fully understand what certain verses mean without looking into the original Hebrew and Greek meanings of the words. That is what I’ve tried to help you with in looking at these different definitions. When we understand the true Biblical definition we can see a clearer picture of what God was really saying to us through these scriptures. As we come to understand the proper definitions we are accountable then, to God, for applying what we have learned to our lives. I pray that you will apply what you have been learning about the definitions of the “name” of Jesus to your life so you can grow in your relationship with the Lord.
Father, I thank You for Your word and for how You have shown us that there are different definitions that apply to certain words in the verses of Your Scriptures. I thank You for the Holy Spirit who is our teacher and would ask that He would give us revelation knowledge and understanding to be able to apply what we’ve learned to our lives to increase our effectiveness in sharing Your love with those around us. Father, I pray that we will use the “name” of Jesus properly and not just as a “tack on” to the end of our prayers. May we recognize fully the authority that we have in praying through His name. Thank You, Father, for enlightening our understanding in these things. Amen.