Jesus Manifested His Father’s Name

John 17:6
6 “I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world.

When Jesus prayed to His Father He talked about His mission to manifest God’s name to those the Father had given Him. His disciples had asked that He show them the ‘Father’ (John 14:8-9). His answer to them was: ‘He who has seen me has seen the Father’. Jesus and the Father were and still are one.

In the ancient record there is a progressive revelation of God’s name from the time of Adam through Noah to Abraham and Moses to David and finally to Jesus.

God was introduced as ‘Elohim’ the great creator and supreme God or deity. Then as the mighty protector and provider ‘El Shaddai’ – the God who is more than enough for any need. Then with Moses God reveals Himself as Jehovah / Yahweh – the covenant making and keeping redeemer of His people. Finally, Jesus revealed God in a fresh new way with great significance for us today. He revealed His name as ‘Abba Father’ showing us that God is undoubtedly relational and personal. He wants us to see Him as our Father, up close and personal and not as some deity who is aloof and distant.

Most religious people I have come across have just a little understanding of who God is, and tend to think of God as somewhat old aged, harsh and someone to be scared of, not knowing quite what He is going to do next. Yet Jesus came to clearly manifest (reveal) His name to us. Jesus was God in the flesh – altogether alive in our midst for all to see for themselves.

John 14:9
9 He who has seen Me has seen the Father…

For the believer today God has sent forth His Spirit into our hearts crying out ‘Abba, Father’. This is the Spirit Jesus Himself had, which He now imparts to us.

Galatians 4:6-7
6 And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” 7 Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

We even enjoy the huge benefit of being heirs of God through Christ. This means that we inherit along with Christ as ‘joint heirs’ (Romans 8:17) all that the Father has intended for His children: first, His favor here on earth, and second the wonderful enjoyment of His presence for eternity in the hereafter.

In God’s eyes at least (until we see His relationship with us in family terms) we are fully accepted into His family on the basis of birth and not our efforts, large or small, to prove to Him that we are worthy of acceptance.

Jesus began introducing God as our Father when He taught the disciples to address God as their ‘Father’ in what some call the Lord’s Prayer.

Matthew 6:9
9 In this manner, therefore, pray:
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.

Notice that Jesus teaches that God is ‘our’ Father, collectively binding us together in a shared family environment. In our modern and often fractured society this truth is largely lost as many struggle to survive without the support of a loving extended family. Thankfully in these prophetic end times (Malachi 4:5-6) God is turning the hearts of the ‘fathers’ towards their ‘sons’ and vice versa, and the church is beginning more and more to function as the ‘family of God’. More and more we are becoming properly ordered, governed and connected to one another in loving respect and honor.

In Christ we have found a place of secure ‘belonging’ and identity. No longer do we have to lean on the frail natural human heritage that we have: our natural family name, position in society, education etc. We now know God in a personally relevant way. In fact the ‘eternal’ life that Jesus came to give us (John 10:10) is defined in terms of knowing God.

John 17:1-3
17:1 Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, 2 as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. 3 And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. (Emphasis added).

Eternal life is therefore not defined as a very long stretched out period of time where believers spend eons of time waving some proverbial ‘palm frond’. Rather eternity is a quality of life where we enjoy eternal security in the personal and intimate knowledge of God as ‘Father’. That is the cry of the Spirit we should listen for in our hearts. Our faith is intensely relational. Jesus made that clear when he manifested God’s name to us.

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