What's In A Name?
Updated: Nov 6, 2018
Right from the start, before you begin to pray through John 17, you need to look closely at the name of the Father Jesus keeps pointing to in John 17.
To fully know the power of the blessing and prayer in chapter 17, we must first understand the very name Jesus came to reveal. How can you be close-knit and affectionate with someone if you don't know what his or her name is? As you will see, Jesus didn't just want us to know information about His Father, He wants you to truly know Him and encounter the Father's presence just like He did.
To truly know God the Father's name we need to go back to the Old Testament. I don't know about you but I was taught years ago you could not find any mention of the heavenly Father in the Old Testament because the heavenly Father was only revealed in the New Testament. Since praying John 17 and receiving insight from the Holy Spirit I see the heavenly Father is mentioned all over in the Old Testament.
When you talk about God to others, I wonder what God they think you are talking about. Did you ever think about that? Warren M. Marcus, a Messianic Jewish believer and an avid student of the Bible says, "The English words God and Lord do not define who the one true God of Israel is. For instance, Buddhists refer to Lord Krishna and Lord Vishnu. The Hindus worship some thirty-three million gods and goddesses."
When you begin to understand who your heavenly Father truly is by the revelation of the Holy Spirit, and begin praying to the Living God of Israel, (your heavenly Father), you are praying to the one true God of Israel.
"For you have not received the spirit of slavery again to fear. But you have received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry, "Abba, Father." ~ Romans 8:15
Abba is the Hebrew term for "Daddy." When was the last time you called your heavenly Father "Daddy"? It's OK to see yourself as a little child when you go before your heavenly Father.
"And because you are sons, God has sent forth into our hearts the Spirit of His Son, crying, "Abba Father!" ~ Galatians 4:6
“I made the earth, formed it, and set it in place. My name is the LORD. This is what the LORD says: Call to me, and I will answer you. I will tell you great and mysterious things that you do not know." ~ Jeremiah 33:2-3
What father, when his childs call out to him - wouldn't bend down and look in their eyes and answer his precious child's question? What we see here is that the LORD'S name of the one true God is actually in the original Hebrew Scriptures. In the above scripture, God calls out to us to seek Him and speak to Him in prayer. Well, how do you call out to someone if you don't know his or her name? A good question isn't it? Say my husband and I get separated in a large room packed with other people, and I can't find him, what do I do? I call out his name, "Dick, where are you?" In the same way, if we say we have am affectionate supernatural relationship with the one true God, (our heavenly Father), yet we don't truly know His name, how affectionate and intimate can that be?
I must confess since praying through John 17 and seeing Jesus manifest the Father's character with the help of the indwelling Holy Spirit, my life has been radically transformed like never before. Before that, I pictured God my heavenly Father sitting in heaven on a great BIG throne, far-flung out in space and hard to approach directly. But as I continued my search over the years, and praying John 17 I have discovered that His desire is to make Himself known to me.
He wants me to know Him in a close-knit way. He's always reaching out to me, wanting to communicate with me face-to-face, and he's passionate to impart His very person, His character, His power and authority a supernatural way.
Jesus knew the Father's name when He said,
"Truly, truly I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what he sees the Father do. For whatever He does, likewise, the Son does." ~ John 5:19
"For I have not spoken on My own authority, but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak." ~John 12:49
What I want you to see is that Jesus was the living character of God the Father for us to see! Remember we are yoked to Jesus and He will not be annoyed with you, abuse you, or be exasperated with you. Since you are yoked with Jesus you have the covering of the name of the Father over you and in you by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Marcus, the Messianic Jewish believer I spoke of before says, "In Hebrew thinking, a name isn't a label or a tool merely used to distinguish one person from another. A person's name is viewed as equivalent to the person himself. A person's name signifies their person, worth, character, reputation, authority, will, and ownership. Everything they have and everything they are is reflected in their name."
Jesus came to reveal the name of the Father. So who do we go to, to know the Father's name? I came across this Scripture years ago that answers that question.
"All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him." ~ Luke 10:22
So I've come to know Jesus is the only one who shows us who the Father is because He knows the Father's name personally. He didn't learn it out of a book and someone else didn't tell Him about the Fathers name. He was with the Father from before the foundation of the world. How do I know that? Jesus tells us in John 17. Oh what glory,
"The glory I had with you before the world was" (Jn. 17:5).
Awesome isn't it?
Since the first printing of is book in 2016, I see something else the Holy Spirit is drawing my attention to. It is the Priestly Prayer of the Blessing in Numbers 6:22-27. My eyes have been opened to see Jesus is the fulfillment of this blessing. You will come to see this too as you pray through John 17 with Jesus.
The Priestly Prayer of the Blessing
22Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,
23“Speak to Aaron and to his sons, saying,
‘Thus you shall bless the sons of Israel. You shall say to them:
24The LORD bless you, and keep you;
25The LORD make His face shine on you, And be gracious to you;
26The LORD lift up His countenance on you, And give you peace.’
27 “So they shall invoke My name on the sons of Israel,
and I then will bless them.”
I want you to notice who the SOURCE of the blessing is. In other words who is this blessing from?
Is it from Aaron?
Is it from Moses?
Why this is so important to know is, that when we come to John 17 we can ask the same question. When Jesus begins to pray and bless His disciples He uses the very same terms as God told Moses to tell Aaron and his sons to use. That’s fascinating, isn’t it? You’ll see what I mean later.
You can see clearly that Aaron didn’t say, “Hey Moses, I have this great idea, this formula, that I think the children of Israel would be happy with.” This Priestly Prayer of the Blessing in Numbers 6:22-27 was not man made!
It’s 100% God made!
So now you can see why Jesus our High Priest could use the Priestly Prayer of the Blessing when He blessed His disciples which included YOU - and every disciple then and NOW is included in this blessing.
And there's more! As believers, we are called
" a chosen race who serve as Priests for The Kingdom, a holy people, a redeemed assembly; you should proclaim the praises of him who called you from darkness into his excellent light" (I Peter 2:9).
Now if you are not supernaturally experiencing the blessing of Jesus your High Priest yourself, how can you as Priests for The Kingdom pronounce this Priestly Prayer of the Blessing over yourself and others? That's why I believe I was led to write this book, Pray John 17. I believe many will see John 17 with new eyes and begin to function in a level of Kingdom power and authority like never before.
Yes, because you are God the Father's representatives on earth today and the Holy Spirit is indwelling you, as you speak out loud over yourself as you Pray John 17, it will be your voice speaking, but it will be Jesus Himself (our Great High Priest) speaking it through your mouth.
Have you ever thought. . . “who am I to pronounce a blessing upon anyone?” Then I realized it doesn't depend on the “blesser” or the one pronouncing the “blessing”. But it’s “from Him whom all blessings flow”! We need to keep that in mind, because,
God is always in charge of blessings!
This blessing was given by God Himself, directly to Moses. It is the only recorded prayer given to us by God Himself. People will say, "But what about the Lord's prayer?"
That is different from the above blessing. The Lord's prayer is Jesus teaching His disciples how to pray to God. As you can see above, God told Moses to tell Aaron, the high priest, and his sons, to speak it over the children of Israel every day. And they did this for 40 years! By doing this, God would place His name (who He is, His character, His power, and authority) supernaturally upon them. For 40 years, as the children of Israel wandered in the wilderness, they received God's favor in the way of supernatural provision, health, wellbeing and protection from angels.
The more I understand the Priestly Blessing, the more I see the heavenly Father's favor and how much He desires to bless His people. Not only do you see how the Living God of Israel (the heavenly Father) desired for the children of Israel to enter into a supernatural, experiential, and an affectionate relationship with the Him, Jesus desires the same for you.
I know you know that all the Old Testament and the teachings, in particular, find their fulfilment in Jesus - Colossians 2:17 and Hebrews 8:5 and 10:1. What I want you to see is Jesus used the same terms of the Priestly Blessing found in Numbers. In other words, Jesus fulfilled the Priestly Prayer of the Blessing found in Numbers 6:22-27.
As you pray through John 17 you will come to see that what was appointed by the living God to be daily spoken over the children of Israel in the Old Testament, was fulfilled once and for all in Jesus our High Priest and preserved for us in the New Testament.
Also as you pray through John 17 you will see Jesus prayed and blessed His disciples and included YOU in the Priestly Blessing and the benefits of this blessing has not died out through all the generations since the night Jesus prayed for His disciples.
I call this prayer and blessing the
greatest prayer of grace ever prayed!
Pray John 17 leads you through the prayer of Jesus in John 17. As you pray along with Jesus, you will experience an impartation of the Holy Spirit upon you, your family, friends, and the world.
Jesus' prayer brings with it transformation of your heart - transformation will come - Christ Jesus promised it!
I know believers who desire to experience daily dialog and face-to-face friendship with the living God because that's what we are created for - a close-knit, affectionate fellowship with the Father, in the here and now.
Not too long ago I came across the amplified Hebrew-to-English translation of the Priestly Prayer of the Blessing in Numbers and I felt like jumping for joy! The reason being, it reinforced my study in John 17, that Jesus is the fulfillment of the blessing of God (the God of Israel, the one true God)!
Jeff A. Benner of the Ancient Research Center site says many people don't understand the word "bless". These people will say, "the heavenly Father will never bow before a man, literally or figuratively and He isn't affectionate." Benner goes on to say, "if we think of (the God of Israel, the one true God) as a Supreme Ruler sitting high upon a throne, then I would agree, your heavenly Father could never kneel before another. However, this is not the heavenly Father I read about in the Bible.
Benner continues, "The one true God, your heavenly Father that I read about walks among his people like a father does with his children, and when a child looks up at his father with a question or comment, wouldn't father kneel down before his child and get eye to eye with him and talk with him? This is a father that shows respect to his children. Kneeling before another is not a sign of submission, but instead, a sign of respect, which we could say is a blessing to his children."
Don't you love the picture Benner just painted of your heavenly Father and how He loves to "bless" His children? When I read that quote by Benner not only did I remember the Priestly Prayer of the Blessing in Numbers 6 but also Jesus prayer and blessing in John 17.
Below is the Amplified Hebrew-To-English Translation of the Priestly Prayer of the Blessing. As you pray through John 17 you will see how John 17 is connected to Numbers 6:24-26.
Numbers 6:24-26 - The Amplified Hebrew-To-English Translation by Warren M. Marcus
The LORD bless you. . .
May Yehovah kneel before you (making Himself available to you as your heavenly Father) so He can grant or bestow upon you His promises and gifts.
The LORD bless you and keep you. . .
May Yehovah, (your heavenly Father) guard you with a hedge of thorny protection that will prevent Satan and all your enemies from harming your body, soul, mind, and spirit, your loved ones, and all your possessions.
The LORD make His face to shine upon you. . .
May Yehovah, (your heavenly Father) illuminate the wholeness of His being toward you, continually bringing to you order, so that you will fulfill your G-D given destiny and purpose.
And be gracious unto you. . .
May Yehovah, (your heavenly Father) provide you with perfect love and fellowship, never leaving you, and give you sustenance, provision, and friendship.
The LORD lift His countenance upon you...
May Yehovah, (your heavenly Father) lift up and carry His fullness of being toward you (bringing everything that He has to your aid), supporting you with His divine embrace and His entire being.
And give you peace...
May Yehovah, (your heavenly Father) set in place all you need to be whole and complete so you can walk in victory, moment by moment, by the power of the Holy Spirit. May He give you supernatural health, peace, welfare, safety, soundness, tranquility, prosperity, perfection, fullness, rest, and harmony, as well as the absence of agitation and discard.
This translation of the Priestly Prayer of the Blessing in Numbers is taken from "The PRIESTLY PRAYER of the BLESSING - The Ancient Secret of the Only Prayer in the Bible written by GOD HIMSELF" - by Warren M. Marcus.
The most important thing to see is how this word "bless" is used in John 17. We can't make "bless" mean what we want it to mean but what the Father says it means is the all-important thing. If you miss His meaning the rest of John 17 will not have much meaning for you personally. As you Pray John 17 you can expect your heavenly Father to meet you in a supernatural, affectionate, and in an experiential relationship.
A transformation will come - Christ Jesus promised it!
As you Pray John 17,
You will come to know your heavenly Father more dearly.
You will come to see your heavenly Father more clearly and
You will come to follow your heavenly Father more nearly.
Prayer My Father, enlarge my capacity to spiritually understand Your name.