Holy Tuesday — The Covering of Glory
I am no longer going to be in the world; and yet they themselves are in the world, and I am coming to You. Holy Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have given Me, so that they may be one just as We are. While I was with them, I was keeping them in Your name, which You have given Me; and I guarded them, and not one of them perished except the son of destruction, so that the Scripture would be fulfilled. (John 17:11-12)
There are three important teachings taking place in these two verses of Jesus’ High Priestly Prayer. First, the Father has given His name to Jesus. Twice Jesus refers to ‘Your name, the name which you have given me’. Second, Jesus kept us in this name during His time on earth. He likens this keeping to ‘guarding’. Third, Jesus prays that the Father will continue to keep us in His name after Jesus has departed the earth. He prays the most intimate prayer on our behalf, ‘Holy Father, keep them…’
I love the old hymn, ‘There is Power in the Name of Jesus’. How can a name be powerful? John tells us we have life in this name (20:31). Peter says there is forgiveness of sins in this name (Acts2:38). There is healing in this name (Acts 36, 16). By this one name demons are cast out (Acts 16:18), followers are justified and sanctified (1 Corinthians 6:11). Paul proclaims that at the sound of this name every knee in heaven and on earth will bow down (Philippians 2:10), through this name we give thanks (Ephesians 5:20), and every act and thought is meant to give glory to this name (Colossians 3:17).
To the Thessalonians Paul prays, “To this end also we pray for you always, that our God will consider you worthy of your calling, and fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith with power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus will be glorified in you, and you in Him, in accordance with the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.” When we surrender our lives, confess our sins and follow Jesus, we are covered by this name, the name we love, the name we honor, the name we proclaim. His name defines us, and by His name we are guarded and covered.
Do you need a word of encouragement today? Consider this, Jesus prayed specifically for you that by His name, the name which is above all names, the great I AM, you would be guarded, protected and covered to the glory of the Father. Blessed be the name of the Lord!
Encouragement for the Day
Jesus described himself as the good shepherd, the bread of life, the light of the world, the resurrection and the life. Meditate on the name of Jesus today. Say it over and over and thank the Father for the covering it gives you as one who bears the image of God.
Lord God, heavenly Father, we live in a time of doubt, deception and discouragement. There are so many names people want us to honor, so many identities being pushed on us. Help us today to stay focused on the name of Jesus. Help us find our identity in that name. Help us find our strength in that name. Help us find our peace and comfort in that name. And help us live boldly and courageously proclaiming that name and the good news of Jesus Christ in our world. We pray this in the name of the One who overcame death and sets us free, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.