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John 17:11

John 17:11
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John 17:11, “Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one.”

In 17:6 Christ says that He has manifested the Father’s Name to those whom the Father has given Him. Now in verse 11 He asks that those same ones might be kept in the Father’s Name, the Name that the Father has given to the Son.

The Name of verse 11 is no different than the Name of verse 6. The Name that Jesus manifested (and would manifest at the cross, v.26) to His disciples IS the Name of the Father–the identity and character of God–that the Father has given to the Son.

Jesus has glorified–and will climactically glorify–the Father by making this Name known (v.1, bearing in mind that to “glorify” is synonomous with “to make known,” see Edwards “End of Creation” and Exodus 33:18-19), and in making this Name known, He has given eternal life (which is to know God) to all those whom the Father has given Him (v.2-3). Now He asks that they should be kept in this Name….that is to say–I believe–kept in abiding, soul-satisfying belief in Jesus Christ as the Son of God who makes the Father known.

And the people of God will not be able to receive and believe the unifying identity of God  in Christ until the death and resurrection of the Son have been incorporated into the Name that they believe and in which they are kept (17:26).

The unity of the Church depends on knowing and abiding in the NAME OF GOD as made known to us through His Son, crucified and risen!

Clinging to God Made Known in Christ is the center of gravity for the people of God! He is our center, He is our core, He is our unification….to see and know and receive and abide in God Made Known in the slain and risen Jesus–THAT is what makes the Church One…

And so, in this picture the literal “name” of God, יהוה (implying His intrinsic identity, the essence of who the One True God is) is represented within the crucified Jesus (with the empty tomb framing Him, since it is in His resurrection-illuminated death that God is most supremely known). The Church, then, is represented as unified in cruciform, Christ-imaging love around the Name of God as made known in Christ.

This one took longer than I like to spend on a daily verse picture (mainly because of the individual members of the Church), but this is a concept that is close to my heart and I wanted to take the time to communicate it visually.