John 17:26 “I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”
Jesus’ high priestly prayer in John 17 is worthy of a lifetime of study, but right now this verse stands out to me. It focuses on two things: knowledge of God and God’s love. The original text says knowledge of God’s Name, and it’s worthwhile thinking about why that is. It is certainly true that names were treated as much more important in those days. Naming was done with great care, because a person’s name was felt to capture and express the essence of that person. Names were not shared so lightly as they are today. However, in the case of God, we can’t possibly know everything about Him, so Jesus shared what He could, and that was God’s Name, with all its implications. We do well to study the way God is named in the Bible. Jesus said He made God’s Name known in order that God’s love would be in His disciples. That’s huge, any way you look at it. We are incapable of receiving God’s love without having some grasp of who He is and what He is like, because otherwise we twist and distort His love beyond recognition. Jesus said He would continue to make God known to us in order that God’s love, and Christ Himself, might be in us. That should be motivation to know more of God! I’m back to my father’s pet phrase: “Give all you know of yourself to all you know of Christ.” That is how we grow in our capacity to receive God’s love and let Christ live in us.
I don’t know how old I was when my father came up with his very simple, profound formulation, but my memories of him using it certainly go back a long way. That of course gave me an advantage for putting it into practice, but I wish I could say I had been more consistent in doing so. However, at this point I am also called to be on the other side of that transaction, making God known to others so that His love may be in them. I am to keep pressing in to know more of God myself, being filled and stretched by His love, but I must never think that I am the end recipient of that love. Rather, I am to be a conduit, letting His love flow through me to all who will receive it. And I am to teach them of God so that they may receive it!
Father, thank You for expressing my calling in this way. Thank You for surrounding and filling me with Your love. Help me express it accurately, without distortion, so that people may be brought from darkness to light, from death to life, healed and delivered, for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!