“My prayer is not for the world, but for those you have given me, because they belong to you. All who are mine belong to you, and you have given them to me, so they bring me glory. Now I am departing from the world; they are staying in this world, but I am coming to you. Holy Father, you have given me your name; now protect them by the power of your name so that they will be united just as we are. During my time here, I protected them by the power of the name you gave me. I guarded them so that not one was lost, except the one headed for destruction, as the Scriptures foretold.” John 17:9-12
What is in a name? I’m named for my two grandfathers and deem that as significant and meaningful. My wife was named after her great grandmother. My children both have names that we have been passed on as a legacy to them as those who belong to a specific family. And ironically, our Heavenly Father and Jesus did the same thing.
In this passage Jesus is thanking the Father for the name that he has been given. It is his Father’s name. Jesus says, “Holy Father, you have given me your name…” What is this name? Is it Jesus? Immanuel- God with us? Certainly both. The name of the Lord that he gave Jesus is both a name and character. The Father named Jesus and by doing so claimed him as his Son.
This name is not for belonging only, although that matters, it’s for protection — “now protect them by the power of your name so that they will be united just as we are.” Protection because you are under a covering of your Father, and unity so we might be one as the Father and Son are one. Jesus says he protected his followers by the power of the name you gave him while he was here on earth and he lost not one of his followers, minus Judas who was “headed to destruction” since the beginning of time and as the Scriptures foretold.
We are named by God and for him. We are saved by the “name” of Jesus. We are delivered from slavery to sin by the name of Jesus. And we claim his name for our hope, salvation, redemption and ultimate resurrection. It is the name that God gave Jesus that will save the people from their sins.
Have you claimed the name in your own life? Are you living a life under the authority of that name? Do you love it, live by it, claim it, maintain it? Are you only knowing and not believing? As a friend Austin just told me — we must “act on the ask.” When Christ asks us to follower, to obey and to trust, we must act on that. We act on his ask. In the same way, we act on the ask of the name of Jesus. For it is by his name that all people can be saved by his grace and for his glory.
“O Lord God, you are good. While at youth camp I am filled to overflowing by the power of your Holy Spirit. I see your grace, I encounter your face, and I am reassured for your love for him. Come now, Holy Father, receive me as one who has accepted the name of your Son for myself. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen