The Name of God: Hidden but Now Revealed

‘And now I am no more in the world, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name –the name you gave me- so that they may be one as we are one’ ~ John 17:11

A name has a meaning if not a significance. There is probably a meaning or meanings to your name. God’s name also holds many meanings, but there is a name He clearly reveals to mankind which He wanted us to know about, so that we can take it up for ourselves- for our own good. Jesus prays audibly for the benefit of the disciples in order to relay the significance of that name. He tells God the Father, ‘While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me’ (John 17:12). Jesus talks about God’s name which was given to Him, that He used to protect His disciples with. He then beseeches the Father to keep Believers safe by the power of that name, even as He departs from the world. What name is that? Matthew gives us a hint when he records what the angel specifies to Joseph about the mysterious pregnancy of his fiancé, Mary, ‘She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name JESUS, for he will save his people from their sins’ (Matthew 1:21). The angel was specific on the name and so the name was not just a random name from a random selection. It was God’s name. A name that would embody a person, for Jesus means ‘the salvation of Yahweh’.

God who had remained hidden for a long time despite the many other names that was used to describe Him (Adonai, El-Shaddai, Elohim, Jehovah etc.), finally revealed Himself in a clear manner. Isaiah notes, ‘Truly you are a God who hides himself, O God and Saviour of Israel’ (Isaiah 45:15), while Habakkuk says, ‘His splendour was like the sunrise; rays flashed from his hand, where his power was hidden’ (Habakkuk 3:4). But not anymore, God clearly revealed Himself to the world using His Word, His name. ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning’ (John 1:1). In other words as Jesus puts it, ‘Rather, it is the Father, living in me who is doing his work’ (14:v10) because ‘I am in the Father and the Father is in me’ (v11). Paul puts it this way, ‘God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not counting men’s sins against them’ (2 Corinthians 5:19), but saving whoever believes in Him. So, God fully pulls back the curtain and reveals Himself, His true name- Jesus. Jesus, ‘the image of the invisible God’ (Colossians 1:15) is the name of God, hence the character of God. He is the glory of God, as He tells the Father of ‘the glory I had with you before the world began’ (John 17:5), since Jesus is ‘before all things and in him all things consist’ (Colossians 1:17).

In other words, Jesus is the name of God, hence Jesus is God. In essence, someone calling you by your name holds more meaning and shows an understanding that they know you, as opposed to them calling you ‘that person’. Thus, God reveals His name to us in order to use it, but more so to take it up as well. Believers upon getting saved use the name of Jesus in prayer and worship and do that rightly so. However, many do not take that name upon themselves as God intended. When we take up that name, we are protected because we have taken the highest name. The devil and his minions therefore cannot harm us even as we live in his kingdom- the world. When someone believes in Jesus and gets saved, they take up His name. Like a marriage whereby the wife takes up the name of her husband, the head of the household, so Believers take up the name of Jesus, who is ‘the head of the body, the church’ (Colossians 1:18). Salvation is therefore Biblically symbolised as a marriage because a person becomes one in spirit with God. Jesus says, ‘Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me’ (John 17:21).

Just like God saw that something was missing when man was alone, so are we missing without God’s name in us. Jesus expresses God’s desire, ‘I in them, and you in me, that they may be made perfect in one’ (v23). So just like couples are happy when they become one, so is our joy made complete when we find Christ. Paul notes of this perfect union between Christ and Believers, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. This is a profound mystery – but I am talking about Christ and the Church’ (Ephesians 5:31-32). So, Believers carry the name of Jesus because the Spirit in them is that of Jesus who says, ‘I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you will also live’ (John 14:18). Through the Holy Spirit, Believers enter into a perfect oneness with God because they bear the name of God- God in them.

One will say, ‘I belong to the Lord’; another will call himself by the name of Jacob; still another will write on his hand, ‘The Lord’s’, and will surname himself by the name of Israel’ (Isaiah 44:5). This Scripture prophesying of what we presently have demonstrates the awareness that we as Believers need to have in order to fully activate the power of the name we bear. A woman who bears her husband’s name only makes it evident when she acts the part. By keeping the vows she made, then the name she bears proves true. In the same way, living out our salvation according to the Word is how we can truly and powerfully call ourselves by God’s name. Jesus says, ‘If you continue in my word, you are really my disciples’ (John 8:31). So bearing the name of Jesus is not mere lip-service. Christianity has never been lip service, but an awareness of Who is in us, and carrying out His will every moment of every day, for the rest of our lives. Paul clearly knew the name he carried and no wonder he greatly manifested the power of God, ‘for the Kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power’ (1 Corinthians 4:20). He says, ‘From henceforth, let no one trouble me for I bear on my body the marks of the Lord Jesus’ (Galatians 6:17). All Believers should also be able to say this and live it out because they carry the name of Jesus. And all those who don’t know Jesus Christ are invited to take up His name by repenting their sins and inviting Jesus as Lord in their hearts.

‘In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. For he has set a day when he will judge the world with righteousness by the man (Jesus Christ) he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead’ ~ Acts 17:30-31

10 thoughts on “The Name of God: Hidden but Now Revealed

  1. That is a beautiful and powerful post Carolyne and when I read it, the witness of God’s Holy Spirit was self evident. I will repost it because it does need to be honestly heard by more of God’s children. God’s Holy Spirit teaches you well and rightfully honours His beautiful name. Thank you. Love in Christ – Bruce

  2. Thank you for this extremely rich article Carolyne, it has blessed me as I read it. As children of God we increase the reach of His blessings when we share such good Biblical posts, thank you Bruce for sharing!

  3. Pingback: The Name of God: Hidden but Now Revealed – Carolyne Mulyale Mutisya – Reasoned Cases for Christ

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