the Name | John 17.6-11
“I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you. For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you.” John 17:6-11 | ESV
“I showed them who you are – I showed these men you marked out as mine from the world of men. They belonged to you and you passed them right on to me, and they have taken seriously what I’ve had to say. And now they know beyond a shadow of a doubt that whatever you’ve given me to say or do is in fact truly from you. The words you passed to me I passed right on to them. Download complete! They got it all and they know without a doubt that it was from you I came, yes, they have total buy in that you sent me. They’re the ones I bear before you now – it’s not the wide world I carry now, but these you’ve marked out as mine – for they were yours to give. And there’s nothing and no one that I have that isn’t already yours, and nothing that’s yours that isn’t mine. And they are what has put the spotlight on me, revealing who I really am. And now it’s time to go. I’m stepping out of the wide world and they are left behind while I’m on my way to you.” MAV
Four Hebrew letters: Yod/Heh/Vav/Heh.
We generally pronounce it “Yahweh” these days – though most scholars insist it is unpronounceable, some even observing that the four letters essentially convey the sound of breathing. And while this may not exactly be the “proper name” of God as we think of proper names in our culture, it’s about the closest thing we have to it in Scripture. This leads some to fixate on it to the point that they claim the correct use of it is essential to salvation (some do the same thing with the name of Jesus, insisting that our soundness in the faith hinges on using “Yeshua” rather than “Jesus).
But when Jesus says that he spelled out the name of the Father to his disciples, giving them the complete download of who his Abba is, he’s not talking about the literal spelling and pronunciation of any one word.
It’s not about four letters.
The name of his Abba – who his Abba really is, his identity, the core of his being, the core of all reality, for that matter! – was revealed not through the elusive pronunciation of a mysterious word, but rather through the clear demonstration of his life.
The download was in the doing.
He completed his Abba’s work and through that work he has put on display for all time and eternity the name of God. In John’s telling of the Story, the seven signs he narrates form the heart of that demonstration. Taken together, those seven signs form a Divine billboard spotlighting the nature and heart of God. And Jesus insists the disciples have seen it and have finally gotten it. Which means they have finally gotten God and thereby have finally found the ultimate spring of true aliveness in this world and in the one to come.
According to Jesus’ prayer, in this time between the now and the not yet, what is our most crucial task? Making God’s name known through our own demonstrations of grace and truth.
This is the task before us in this time between the now and the not yet.
If people could only draw God by looking at your daily life, what would their sketch of the face of God look like?
Abba, let me sink deeper into your heart, that your heart may flow through me into the paths of my every day walk before you. Let my heart and life reflect you; let your face be reflected in mine. Through Jesus.