Memorial stamp print for WWI hero Sgt Alvin C. York.
Tuesday, 1 February 2022
by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus.” Acts 4:30
Note: You can listen to today’s commentary courtesy of our friends at “Bible in Ten” podcast. (Click Here to listen)
You can also read this commentary, with music, courtesy of our friends at “Discern the Bible” on YouTube. (Click Here to listen), or at Rumble (Click Here to listen).
The verse now completes the prayer of the disciples, but to remember the context, it should be read along with the previous verse –
Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, 30 by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus.”
With this context understood, the words of this verse begin with, “by stretching out Your hand.” A more literal rendering would be, “in the stretching forth of Your hand.” It is as if the Lord’s hand is directly equated to the actions which will take place. As He stretches it forth, the intended event occurs. The implication is that the power of the Lord that filled Jesus is to be available now, after His ascension, that was with Him during His ministry. For example, and using the same word, Mark 1 says –
“Then Jesus, moved with compassion, stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, ‘I am willing; be cleansed.’ 42 As soon as He had spoken, immediately the leprosy left him, and he was cleansed.” Mark 1:41, 42
It is the power of the Lord that the apostles are asking to appropriate in order to glorify Him. This is then noted for several reasons. The first is “to heal.”
Charles Ellicott notes that the Greek word chosen by Luke is a play on words, and assonance, that corresponds to the Greek name translated as Jesus. It is the same word used in verse 4:22, but this time it is used directly in connection with the name –
Iasis – healing
Iésous – Jesus
As for the prayer, it continues with, “and that signs and wonders may be done.” The word “and” seems to show that this is still dependent on the stretching forth of the hand of the first clause –
“in the stretching forth of Your hand…that signs and wonders may be done.”
The stretching forth of the hand is an anthropomorphism where the hand accomplishes things. It is this hand of the Lord that is stretched forth to heal, and also to perform signs and wonders. Thus, the Source is the Lord for all that occurs. That then leads to the next words, “through the name.”
In this, the words connect the act to the Lord. In the stretching forth of the Lord’s hand, signs and wonders are accomplished through the name, meaning the name “Jesus” as seen in the coming words. In this, the connection of the name to the Lord’s hand is made. And the name that is connected to the hand of the Lord is next said to be “of Your holy Servant Jesus.”
Again, the idea of the Messiah being the Servant of the Lord is brought forth. The suffering Servant has become the Healer. As such, an implied connection is made in the play on words noted above. Through the suffering of Jesus (Iésous), healing (iasis) is brought about by the Lord. The importance of the connection of the healing being done as a consequence of the stretching out of the Lord’s hand can be more fully appreciated by looking at the account in Acts 19 –
Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists took it upon themselves to call the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “We exorcise you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches.” 14 Also there were seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, who did so.
15 And the evil spirit answered and said, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?”
16 Then the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, overpowered them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. 17 This became known both to all Jews and Greeks dwelling in Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified.
These Jews were using the name of Jesus as a talisman, looking to gain from throwing it about. But the name is to be magnified, not treated as a cliché or a trinket that can be pulled out and used to suit a personal fancy or agenda. The name of the Lord is directly equated to the name Jesus.
Life application: How often it is that people toss around the name of Jesus, claiming things that they have no right to claim! It is used to claim healing when the one claiming only looks to benefit personally from the claim. It is used to claim sports cars or winning football games. It is used to pronounce a curse on someone that another person may not like.
On and on the abuse of the name continues. But we have been told otherwise –
“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. 9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 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, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:5-11
Let us confess the name, hold the name as sacred, and not allow the name to be degraded through the whims of false teachers and false prophets. Reject this evil and be sure to honor the name JESUS!
Lord God Almighty, You have chosen to have all the power of the Godhead expressed in the exalted name of Jesus. It is in that name, and through that name, that we find our life, our hope, and our joy. Help us, Lord, to never diminish this exalted name through the frivolous use of it. Rather, may we exalt that great name, the name that is above every name – JESUS. Amen.