August 20th, 2019
About every believer I’ve ever encountered uses the phrase “In Jesus name” to punctuate their prayers.
These are not three magical words that we need to tag on our prayers in order to get God to listen.
“Hey God, this message is
scribed in behalf of your Son.
He said, to say he sent me!”
Yes, it might seem a bit strange to phrase it this way but if we aren’t taking the act of asking in the name of the Savior, that’s about what it boils down to; nothing more than a ritualistic chant at the end of a request list.
Jesus gave this instruction to his disciples before they left the upper room, the night that Judas betrayed him. These instructions began with John thirteen, verse one and scrolled to about chapter seventeen, verse twenty-six.
The upper room portion of the conversation, ends at chapter fourteen, the thirty-first verse. The remainder of this last-minute instructions were carried out as Jesus and his disciple walked the streets of Jerusalem.
A brief rundown of the high points of His instruction would be:
- Washing Feet – We don’t see this practiced as much today as we probably should. It is a humbling and very emotional experience to both wash another disciples’ feet, or have your feet washed by another. I’m not sure why it isn’t done more. Maybe because it does require a good deal of preparation and clean up (after cleaning the feet).
I’ve not met one person that didn’t feel that the experience wasn’t something that they wouldn’t want to do again, even though it is a very personal experience.
- Judas’s Betrayal Predicted – Setting up the exit of Judas to actually go and betray Jesus.
- The New Commandment – Love one another. The underscoring of the foundation of God’s love in the establishment of the New Covenant. Jesus had talked about love many times before, but this was again, bringing it home and personal for his disciples.
- Peter’s Denial Forewarned – Peter objected sternly but it wasn’t dawn before the fulfillment of this had come to pass.
- Assurance of the Way to the Father – Jesus realized that the period of his crucifixion, burial and resurrection would test His disciples beyond anything they’d experienced to date. Telling them where He was going, why, and that they would follow after Him was a calming assurance to them as they struggled with their thoughts those three days.
- Jesus Reveals the Father – Point blank Jesus lets them know that if they have seen Him, and obviously they had, they have seen the father. This revelation is so grossly under played in our worship; it is ridiculous. We sperate the Trinity so well that we lose sight of the fact that, one of the three is all of the three.
Jesus was making it clear; He was God in the flesh! And by way of association, he also is letting us know that Jesus lives within us as the Spirit.
- Praying in Jesus’ Name – Then we get to the topic of this discussion; praying in the name of Jesus. More on this in a bit.
- The announcement of the Holy Spirit’s Coming to abide with us – This is a big, big, deal!
The Holy Spirit was nothing new to these believers, they were aware of who He was. But this was different because with this the Spirit would live in the believer as a permanent resident.
- The Triune God – Jesus brings it together with the description of the Trinity. Who could define it any better than God himself?
- The Gift of Peace for Believers – There would be troubling times to come and Jesus assured us of the Peace that breaches all rough seas.
- The Vine and the Branches – Just as tightly coupled the Trinity are, Jesus expresses how we are to be with Him.
- Christlike Love – The ultimate challenge to love as Jesus loved.
- Coming Persecution – It would come to all of them, Jesus was simply preparing them for what lay ahead for them.
- Sorrow turning to Joy – Concepts that we even today have a hard time grasping fully.
- Victory in Jesus – The power to be an overcomer through the grace and strength of Jesus.
- Jesus prays for Himself – Preparing himself for the cross.
- Jesus prays for His Disciples – Preparing them for what lay beyond the cross.
Yes, it is the better part of four chapters in the book of John, but it was that important to Jesus to convey this. It was that important for John to record it in such detail.
In Jesus Name
“Whatever you ask in My name, I will do it so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.”
John 14:13-14 (HCSB)
The thirteenth and fourteenth verse in the fourteenth chapter is so much more than a behavior we needed to learn to be able to pray right. It is that, and it is more.
Maybe you’ve not noticed this before, but he reinforces his insistence that the only way to the Father is through specifically addressing the Son! This is the very acknowledgement that our relationship with the Father is entirely based on our relationship with Jesus. When we pray to God the Father, we need to bear this in mind, we only can do this because of Jesus. Without him as our go between, we are wasting our breath.
So, ‘In Jesus Name’ is an acknowledgement of Christ’s role in making our way to the Father.
Jesus says, “Whatever you ask in My name, I will do it so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” He’s going to do this so that the Father gets the glory, and that glory is the result of Christ Jesus!
Then he turns the phrase and focuses on himself a bit.
“If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.” Now, He’s referring to asking Him anything, still in ‘His Name’.
It’s all about context. Do you think it is any accident that shortly after this, Jesus explains the relationship we are to have with him as that of the vine and the branches?
This brings to bear another aspect of ‘In Jesus Name’ that we may not consider as much as we really should. If we are praying ‘in Jesus name’ we have to first be “IN” Jesus, and He likewise should be in us.
That means the requests that we would lay before him are not going to be self-motivated and derived from fleshly desires.
We are to be in Him and He in us. If we are not, then we can’t possibly pray ‘in Jesus name’ and have any impact whatsoever!
Praying “In Jesus Name” requires acknowledgement of what Jesus has done for us and abiding in Him and He in us!
In His Grace!