Thy Name

In the seventeenth chapter of St. John's gospel we find the words "Thy name" used three times by Jesus in the prayer in which he recounts his life-work somewhat and expresses his ideal for his disciples. In the sixth verse he says. "I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world;" and in the twelfth verse. "While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name;" and once again, in the last verse of the chapter, "And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it."

The use of the phrase seems a little peculiar in connection with the verbs with which it is used. What does it mean to manifest a name, to keep in a name, or to declare a name? Surely the words "thy name" must have a different signification from that usually given them. The latter part of the last verse seems to give a satisfactory solution; "That the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them." This is given as a consequence of Jesus' declaring his Father's name, and as the reason for that declaration. The writer of this gospel was the "beloved disciple" who seems to have grasped more of Jesus' spiritual meaning than any of the others. In his epistles he dwells much on the thought of love and tells us plainly in one place that "God is love." Jesus "kept them" in God's name by the attraction of Love, and we can attract and hold by no other power.

Three Gates
March 4, 1905

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