“I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you.” John 17:6-7
John MacArthur, in a sermon, “Jesus Prays For His Disciples, Part 1″
Jesus came into the world to do this, to manifest the name of God. That little statement there is loaded, friends, grab that one, that is loaded. “I have manifested Thy name …” Jesus Christ came into this world to declare God, did you knowthat? He came into this world to manifest God to men.
Now, let me show you two thoughts that are inherent in that statement. Number one thought is: in the Old Testament the use of the expression “the name” was very special. It does not mean simply the name of a person. He’s not saying — I have declared the name of God in the sense that I’ve told people Your name. It’s not as if He were to say — Listen, I’ve told people Your name is Jehovah, now I’ve done my job … running around saying God’s name is Jehovah. That’s not it. It’s not like, you know, saying Joe or Mary or Bill, it’s not like giving somebody’s name. When it uses the word “name” it means the whole character and the nature of the person as far as it is known. And when Jesus says, “I have declared Your name,” He means I have revealed Your character. That’s what He means.
Illustration: Psalm 9:10 says: “They that know Thy name will put trust in Thee.” And the point of the verse is anybody who really knows the character of God will trust Him. Right? A lot of people know His name. Why … there are some people halfway down the street, they know God’s name. They don’t know God. They know His name, title and letters, they don’t know His character. If they knew His character they’d trust Him. There are people all over the world who know His name. Just listen, next time, in a shop and hear how many people know His name.
In Psalm 20 verse 7 it says, “Some trust in chariots,” ridiculous, imagine trusting in a chariot? “Some trust in horses,” listen to this, “but we’ll remember the name of the Lord our God.” And it’s talking about putting your trust in a person. The name implies all the character. Psalm 22:22, listen to this, it’s a prefacy of the Messiah and it says this, here’s the words of Messiah centuries before He was born: “I will declare Thy name unto My brethren.” And what did Jesus do? He came into the world a Jew and He declared God’s name unto the brethren. And what does it mean when it says He declared His name? It means He opened up to men the entire character of God. Did He not manifest God’s character? He said to Philip, “Philip, have you been with Me so long and you don’t know who I am? If you have seen Me … what? … you’ve seen the Father.” He came to manifest God. And when it says “I will declare His name,” ohh, it means a lot more than He just gave the title. So, He rightly says — I have manifested Your name.
Oh listen, every attribute of God was on display in Jesus, wasn’t it? Boy, there’s a Bible study for you. Just get a list’ of all the attributes of God out of the Old Testament and go back over that list and mark every New Testament passage where every one of those attributes is on display … every attribute of God was displayed in Jesus Christ … every one of them. Most of them all together displayed on the cross. You want to know what God’s like? Who do you look at? Jesus Christ. So, He said — I have manifested Thy name. Isn’t that a beautiful insight into His work?