I have Manifested Thy Name – John 17:1-6

When the Lord laid this message on my heart, I at first wondered if I was hearing Him correctly. It is related to a message we had a few months ago, and I feared that there might be too much repetition. And then as I began jotting down notes, I became concerned that it might end up being more of a theological lecture than a gospel message. Of course, the Christian cannot think too often, or too highly, of our Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. But I wondered – “Would a lost man be at all interested in this?” And then the Spirit reminded me that He would take care of that. HOW the Word of God is received is a ministry of the Lord, not the speaker.
After more notes and settling on a scripture, my questions were answered and my doubts evaporated. Along with others in John 17 – verse 3 blended my theology and God’s evangelism. Speaking of Himself, Jesus prayed, “Thou hast given (me) power over all flesh, that (I) should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given (me). and this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” Salvation, and its resulting eternal life, comes about by KNOWING the Saviour and His Father. We cannot go wrong in sharing the only true God with those sinners to need to know Him. Then Jesus went on, “I have GLORIFIED thee on the earth, I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.” And what was that work? It culminated in Christ’s sacrifice on the cross for the salvation of the people the Father gave Him to save. “I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world.”
This morning’s message is entitled – “I have Manifested Thy Name.” The verb “to manifest” speaks of “revealing something.” It might refer to making something appear which had been hidden, or not recognized, by others. Jesus said, “I have manifested thy NAME unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world.” My theme is more precisely – Christ Jesus has manifested God’s GLORY to people like us. And please remember – the glorification of God is far more important than your salvation, even though they are linked together. Paul and others have told us, “Christ came into the world to save sinners.” But even more scriptures tell us that the Son of God was manifested to bring glory to the Triune God. For example, in Isaiah 40 the prophet said that in Christ’s parousia “the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.” “The glory of the Lord shall be made MANIFEST and all flesh shall see it together.”
My theme and question this morning is this – In what way did Christ manifest God’s glory?
He finished the work He was sent to by manifesting His DIVINE POWER – through His MIRACLES.
Everything about the Lord can be used of the Holy Spirit to glorify God’s name and Person. But those things which are outstanding – the impossible, the unreasonable, those really stand out. For example, do you remember what is described as Jesus’ first miracle? Many Catholics think that the child Jesus performed various signs and wonders. But there is no evidence of that. In fact, the Bible refutes that idea as superstition – if not fraud. God’s Word tells us Jesus’ first miracle was the transformation of water into wine at the marriage in Cana. John 2:11 goes even two steps farther – “This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, AND manifested forth his glory; AND his disciples believed on him.” The miracles of Christ revealed God’s glory in the Son, and brought observant people to faith in Him. Over and over again, Jesus’ healing the sick, producing food, and raising the dead manifested God’s glory and brought some people to faith in Christ.
When Mary and Martha sent word to Jesus about their sick brother, He told His disciples, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the GLORY of God, that the Son of God might glorified thereby.” Christ was not directly glorified by waiting three days before leaving for Bethany. He was only marginally magnified in saying to Martha, “I am the resurrection and the life; he that believeth in me though he were dead, yet shall he live.” That statement standing alone wouldn’t accomplish very much. When Jesus ordered the tomb door be removed, Martha protested that the smell would be horrible. But “Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the GLORY of God?” See what? The glory of God. Those people of Bethany did not see God’s glory UNTIL Jesus commanded, “Lazarus, come forth,” and the dead man came out of his stench-filled tomb. “THEN many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him.” In seeing the glory of God through miracles, some sinners began to also see Christ Jesus the Saviour.
Look at Jesus sleeping in the bow of a small fishing boat in the midst of the Sea of Galilee. How could He sleep in a storm so spectacular and unusual that the experienced fishermen believed that the ship would soon be at the bottom of the lake? He slept so soundly that they had to awaken Him. Then He cooly said to the wind, “Peace, be still,” and it immediately stopped, calming the raging waves. Who is this man and what is He doing? He is the Son of God, and He was manifesting the glory of God.
“The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up” to the glory of God – Matthew. 11:5. So the Lord Jesus follows Jairus to his house and to the man’s dead daughter. He says, “The damsel is not dead, but sleepeth,” and the gathering mourners laugh Him to scorn. But then he says, “Talitha cumi – Damsel, I say unto thee, arise. And straightway the damsel arose, and walked… and they were astonished with great astonishment.” On another occasion Christ arranges to meet a funeral procession coming out of the community of Nain. And a young dead man with a death certificate in his hand, is brought back to life. And “tere came a fear on (the mourners, nevertheless) they glorified God saying,” among other things “that God hath visited his people.” Christ manifested the glory of Jehovah through His miracles.
He also manifested the glory of God’s HOLINESS.
The closer the Word of God brings us to the holiness of God, the more terrifying it appears. We might begin with Isaiah 6 where God’s servant is brought to see God’s throne room. “In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. Then said I, Woe is me!”
We see the best of God’s men fleeing from the holiness of God or crying out “Woe is me.” Because we have a problem – a serious problem – you and I are not holy and in ourselves we cannot ever be holy. Not only does that create a barrier between us and the holy God, but it means our destruction. As Deuteronomy 4:24 tells us, “The Lord thy God is a consuming fire.”
The Tabernacle was emptied of humanity when the glory of the Lord filled it. Exodus 40: 34 – “Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. And Moses was not able to enter into the tent of the congregation, because the cloud abode thereon, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.” And the same thing took place when the Lord occupied the Temple built by Solomon. I Kings 8:11 – “ And it came to pass, when the priests were come out of the holy place, that the cloud filled the house of the LORD, So that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud: for the glory of the LORD had filled the house of the LORD.”
What is holiness? It is perfect purity – morally, spiritually, physically, existentially – sinlessness in its absolute sense. And it is Jehovah’s most basic and essential attribute.
As such it is an essential element of the character of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. There was no sin in Him. The devil brought out all his wiles and attacked our Saviour in face to face combat, but the Lord silenced him with the Word of God. Christ never transgressed God’s will, and He challenged His enemies to accuse Him – “Which of you convinceth me of sin?” No one spoke up because they had no proof of any sin. Isaiah prophesied “nether was any deceit in his mouth,” and Peter who knew Him personally testified “He did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth.” And Paul said, “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” Christ manifested – He revealed – God’s glory in His perfect holiness.
Then we see God’s glorious LOVE and COMPASSION when looking at God the Son.
When did Jesus ever turn His back on someone in need? One day He and His disciples were hurrying along to go into the temple when He saw a blind man. He stopped and returned to the man his sight. He didn’t need to do that. There was no obligation involved. He simply wanted to do it, because He cared. On another day a woman came by begging for help, and the disciples tried to push her away. They were rebuked, and she was helped. Just outside of Jericho another blind man cried out, “Jesus, thou son of David, have mercy on me.” This time the crowd tried to silence him. But the Lord stopped and not only talked to him for a while, but restored his sight. Women brought their children to be blessed by the Lord, and again the disciples tried to push them away, but Jesus rebuked them, and gave to those children the gracious blessing of God. In each of these cases there was no obligation and no ulterior purpose. Our Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, is simply a compassionate person.
And in each of these cases, and many more like them, the Lord Jesus was revealing the glory of the Father. There is a hideous notion floating around in the minds of a lot of unsaved men that Jesus is a nice guy while God is mean and troublesome. What utter foolishness. Laying aside the fact that the Father and the Son are one in divine essence, they are one in character. Throughout the Old Testament we can see the holiness, and therefore, the justice of God. It is an important lesson. But interspersed between God’s acts of judgment were greater acts of mercy and grace. When Christ Jesus, while here on earth, was gracious to those in need He was reflecting the God-head.
At the beginning of his public ministry Jesus said, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.” Using the word “bruised” we read of Matthew’s interpretation of Isaiah 42 – “Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles. He shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear his voice in the streets. A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory. And in his name shall the Gentiles trust.” Christ’s kindness and His manifestation of God’s glory was to bring both Jews and Gentiles to trust. In John 14, he said to Philip, “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father.” We see in Him the concern, the care, the love of God for sinful, bruised, broken, miserable wretched humanity.
We see in the Lord Jesus a manifestation of the glory of the Heavenly Father in so many ways.
You might say that John 17:4 is a general statement – “I have GLORIFIED thee on the earth, I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.” We can’t spend much time comparing the Father’s WISDOM with Jesus’ the Son. But look at the way in which Jesus answered all the tests which His enemies threw at Him. They came at Him with theological questions, designed to ensnare no matter how He answered, but He parried each of their problems, usually throwing the blow back on His attackers. On one occasion they brought a woman whom they had taken while in the very act of sin. They thought there was no way He could escape their snare, whether in forgiving her or condemning her, but escape He did and in the process made them see their own sin. What wisdom He possessed, and He used it to glorify the Father.
I’ve already mentioned Jesus’ sinlessness, which in effect takes us to His OBEDIENCE to the Father’s will. A paragraph from John 14 touches on this subject in several different ways. Please turn to John 14:8 – “Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?” Christ, Himself, reminds us that to look at Him is to see the Father; and to look at Christ is to see the Father’s glory. “Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.” The miracles and other works of Christ, and even His words, were God the Father in Him. “Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake.” Now notice carefully – it was the Father’s will that Christ respond to the prayers of His saints. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be GLORIFIED in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.”The Son glorified the Father in His obedience – and that included replying to your prayers.
Throughout His life, there was a glory and beauty which reflected the beauty of Heaven. At His birth for example – “And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid… And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, GLORY to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” At the transfiguration, the glory of the Father was seen in and around Christ. Luke tells us quite specifically that Peter, James and John saw the glory of CHRIST. And John adds “the Word (Christ Jesus) was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth” – John 1:14.
Every promise made by Christ to His disciples and to us, which are miraculously kept, glorify both the Father and the Son. II Corinthians 1:20 tells us that “all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.”
In the not-too-distant future we shall see Christ reflecting the glory of the God-head in His glorious RETURN. Mark 13: 24 – “In those days, after that the tribulation the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and GLORY.” Matthew 25:31 – “The Son of man shall come in his GLORY, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his GLORY.” “For the Son of man shall come in the GLORY of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.” Those words from Matthew 6:27 point out an additional way in which Christ shall glorify the Father – JUDGMENT. Christ, in the glory of God, not only rewards those He has made righteous, but He will condemn those who remain in their sins – unconverted. He will be glorified in their judgment. II Thessalonians speaking of the unrepentant, unbelieving wicked as those “who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the GLORY of his power.” The AUTHORITY of the Lord, as well as His HOLINESS and JUSTICE will be glorified in the everlasting destruction of the wicked.
Christ reflects the glory of God in a thousand different ways.
But from the perspective of sinners saved by grace, the greatest way in which Christ accomplished the Father’s will was in the salvation of those chosen people.
As the food cooled on the table of the last supper Jesus spoke to the eleven disciples. “Now is the Son of man GLORIFIED, and GOD is glorified in him. If God be glorified in him, God shall also glorify him in himself, and shall straightway glorify him. Little children, yet a little while I am with you. “ Just a few hours later Christ was nailed to the cross. Here was the zenith of glorification of the Father, as Christ was first humbled, then murdered, and then raised from the dead. It was in prospect of the crucifixion Jesus spoke the words of our initial text – “I have glorified thee on the earth, I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.” And in that light Paul wrote to Timothy, “Christ came into the world to save sinners.”
I said earlier that most efficient way to bring glory to God is through impossible and unreasonable things. There is nothing more unreasonable than for the holy God to desire to save worthless sinners like us. And there is nothing more impossible than our salvation without the miraculous grace, wisdom and accomplishment of Christ on the cross. In other words, nothing glorifies God like the salvation of the sinner.
Ephesians 1 lifts the subject of our salvation from out of the muck of the world and its sins into the glorious heart of God. It mentions subjects which the flesh of man finds distasteful if not worthy of hate. Yet there it is in all of its glory. Please turn to Ephesians 1 and tune your heart toward the words “glory” and “praise.” “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the PRAISE of the GLORY of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.”
Verse 11, speaking of the Saviour, says – “In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his GLORY, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his GLORY.”
You could be a part of the glory of Christ unto the glorification of God the Father. If you would simply acknowledge your sinful condition and need of divine deliverance. If you would repent before God and reach out in faith toward the Saviour, you will find that He will save you. You will find yourself as a new creature in Christ to the praise of God’s glory. It may not be your desire to glorify Christ; but I can assure you that He will be glorified in you. Why not yield yourself to His grace in salvation and be blessed and glorified yourself in the process?
The Book of Romans closes with our subject for this morning. “To God only wise, be GLORY through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen.”