John 17:6 “I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world. They were Yours, You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word.”
Why do you suppose it was so important for Jesus to make God’s name known to His disciples?
It seems everyone who lived in Israel, particularly at that time, had heard God’s name and believed Him to be God.
But is that enough?
Is it enough just to consider yourself knowledgeable about God, or even observe His holy days, practice the customs, maybe cross your chest, or attend church?
There have been many times I’ve asked someone if they are a christian and they’ve responded that they are as they live and look no different than the world.
I have to ask myself….is that what I look like as well?
If someone watched my life would it look different because of my belief or would they not be able to tell the difference from a non-believer.
Sure, I may help the poor but many people do that without professing Christ. If I tell someone about Jesus, or go to church, or don’t swear or drink, does that make me a christian?
Why did manifesting the name of God become so critical in Jesus’ ministry?
1 John 3:2 “Beloved, now are we children of God, and it is not yet made manifest what we shall be. We know that, if He shall be manifested, we shall be like him; for we shall see him even as He is.”
Jesus was and is the exact representation of the Father. He was able to exactly represent the Father because He had come forth from the Father. Manifesting the Father is to make plain who He is. In other words, what was once unattainable had become graspable or apparent, Jesus had made the Father visible for everyone to see.
If someone can truly see who God is, it brings them to a real dilemma in life. A God who was once unattainable, has suddenly been brought near. What was once a process of only going through the motions and living by the customs has become a confrontation of my beliefs. When I truly see who God is I must make a decision as to whether I will approach Him in humility or if I will come against Him with my own sense of righteousness.
The Moses Dilemma
When God led Moses and the children of israel into the wilderness He brought them to His Holy mountain to confront them. When Moses ascended that Holy Hill, God manifested His name before Moses and what came forth was unexpected.
First, Moses came by grace:
Exodus 33:17 “So the Lord said to Moses, “I will also do this thing that you have spoken; for you have found grace in My sight, and I know you by name.”
Second, Moses asked God to manifest His glory, God’s response was then remarkable:
Exodus 33: 19-20 “Then He said, “I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.” 20 But He said, “You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live.”
The lessons learned that day:
- God’s glory, God’s goodness, and God’s name are all synonymous.
- No man in his natural fallen state can see God and live.
- We cannot approach God without being called by His grace.
God covered Moses’ eyes and passed by Him, for if Moses had seen God’s face He would have perished. Moses then opened his eyes and saw God’s back and still was transformed by His glory.
- What we are left with in an encounter with God is the radiance of His glory which is manifest in an understanding of His Moral law.
Keeping God’s Word
When Jesus prayed to the Father, the result of manifesting God’s name to the disciples was made evident by them keeping His Word.
To manifest the name of God is to make clear or visible who He is.
Jesus is the only one who can manifest the Father.
The Father is Spirit, He cannot be seen, therefore when Abraham, Moses, Gideon, and Joshua encountered God, it was Jesus whom they were encountering.
Just as Moses was given the tablets of the Moral law upon meeting God, so Jesus’ disciples are given a revelation of His moral law when encountering HIm.
Jesus makes Peace
The death of the perfect man was necessary for mankind to be brought into peace with God. Jesus referred to Himself as the “Son of Man”, because it was a position of atonement He had placed Himself in. When Gideon encountered the pre-incarnate Christ, a sacrifice was made that brought him peace in Judges 6. It was that altar that Gideon name “The Lord is peace”, and then Gideon went about manifesting the name of God before the people.
Jesus has always been and always will be the perfect representation of the Father. It is by Christ alone that we can approach the face of God and be transformed by His power.
Manifesting God’s name is more than doing good deeds or playing the part of a church going christian, manifesting God’s name is to allow His glory, His goodness, and His name be made manifest through you—-this is only accomplished by His Spirit that indwells every true believer.
Once that encounter happens, a hunger for obeying the Word of God becomes evident in you. The Word of God at its core is representative of the 10 commandments, or also known as the Moral law.
When you walk according to the law, you show God your love. It is by living out this law that we manifest Christ to the world and walk in Him. The need to be justified before God was accomplished by Christ through His death and resurrection but it is by His law that we now love Him in return.
Do you truly want to be a disciple of Christ?
Come to Him, not as a ‘good person’ but as a sinner in need of grace and you too will know the Peace of God that has always been found in Jesus.