Коментар

 

In My Name

        |

Од стране New Christian Bible Study Staff

Christ Healing the Blind Man, by Eustache Le Sueur

In My Name

Three times, in the Gospel of John, Jesus tells people to ask for something "in My name". It sounds very much like he's thinking of intercession, i.e. that Jesus and "the Father" are separate people. But we know they aren't - they are one person. Still, those sayings are easy to misunderstand, and they've caused some confusion for Christians since pretty early on. Let's look closely at the Bible texts, to see if we can get a clearer picture, to understand what Jesus means.

In the Word, the name of someone symbolizes their true quality, or nature. Bear this in mind as you read this article; it will help!

First, here are the three "in-My-Name" passages from John:

"Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? The words that I tell you, I speak not from myself; but the Father who lives in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me; or else believe me for the very works' sake. Most certainly I tell you, he who believes in me, the works that I do, he will do also; and he will do greater works than these, because I am going to my Father. Whatever you will ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you will ask anything in my name, I will do it. (John 14:10-14)

You didn't choose me, but I chose you, and appointed you, that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain; that whatever you will ask of the Father in my name, he may give it to you. (John 15:16)

"Therefore you now have sorrow, but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you. In that day you will ask me no questions. Most certainly I tell you, whatever you may ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. Until now, you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be made full. I have spoken these things to you in parables. But the time is coming when I will no more speak to you in parables, but will tell you plainly about the Father. In that day you will ask in my name; and I don't say to you, that I will pray to the Father for you, for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me, and have believed that I came forth from God. I came out from the Father, and have come into the world. Again, I leave the world, and go to the Father." (John 16:22-28)

These passages are largely parallel, but there are some interesting nuances. In John 14, Jesus says "that will I do". Not the father, there, in that instance. In John 15, Jesus says that the Father will satisfy requests made "in My name", and there, Jesus and the Father sound somewhat separate. Then, in John 16, again it is the Father granting requests. However, this time Jesus makes it clear that there will soon be no appearance of intercession. Instead, he's saying that things are changing. There's a hint that the currently apparent separateness is going to end, and that oneness is the future, actual, reality.

Taking these three excerpts together, it's easy to see why people could be confused, and why "in Jesus' name we pray" could have become a standard Christian formula. But, on careful reading, it's apparent that "in My Name" doesn't necessarily imply two people, as per John 14. What's more, the perceived separateness of "Father" and "Son" is temporary; it's about to change.

To get a broader context, here are some other places in the New Testament where the phrase "in My name" occurs. Matthew, Mark, and Luke all relate the story of the Lord's saying that we should receive little children "in My name". In two of these passages, there are hints of both separateness and oneness.

"Whoever receives one such little child in my name receives me, but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to stumble, it would be better for him that a huge millstone should be hung around his neck, and that he should be sunk in the depths of the sea." (Matthew 18:5-6)

"Whoever receives one such little child in my name, receives me, and whoever receives me, doesn't receive me, but him who sent me." (Mark 9:37)

Jesus, perceiving the reasoning of their hearts, took a little child, and set him by his side, and said to them, "Whoever receives this little child in my name receives me. Whoever receives me receives him who sent me. For whoever is least among you all, this one will be great." (Luke 9:47-48)

In this story, we're clearly told to protect innocence. There's still an allusion to separateness, though -- "him who sent me", but here's how we can see this: We can receive "little children" in the name of the Lord. Here, little children symbolize innocence. They're willing to be led by the Lord. If, as adults, we also cultivate that openness to the Lord's leading, then we can receive Divine Truth. With true ideas forming our minds, we can receive Divine Love, too.

In two other New Testament passages, doing something in the Lord's name conveys power, and here there's no mention of separateness:

John said to him, "Teacher, we saw someone who doesn't follow us casting out demons in your name; and we forbade him, because he doesn't follow us." But Jesus said, "Don't forbid him, for there is no one who will do a mighty work in my name, and be able quickly to speak evil of me. For whoever is not against us is on our side. For whoever will give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because you are Christ's, most certainly I tell you, he will in no way lose his reward." (Mark 9:38-41)

"These signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new languages; they will take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it will in no way hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover." (Mark 16:17-18)

Finally, there's one more applicable New Testament passage. Again, here there's no hint of separateness:

"For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there I am in the midst of them." (Matthew 18:20)

In Arcana Coelestia 2921, There's an interesting discussion of the names of the Lord. Different names used in the Word have different symbolic meanings. In one place in this text, it says, "After the resurrection, the disciples always called Him Lord. You can see this in John 20:2, 13, 15, 18, 20, 25; 21:7, 12, 15-17, 20; Mark 16:19-20. And in John 20:28, Thomas says, "My Lord and my God."

Working back into the Old Testament, we find the "in My name" phrase occurring there, too, but not as often.

In Deuteronomy, Jehovah says this:

"It shall happen, that whoever will not listen to my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him." (Deuteronomy 18:19-20)

In Psalms, we find this instance:

But my faithfulness and my loving kindness will be with him. In my name, his horn will be exalted. (Psalm 89:24)

However, if you search for the phrase "the name of Jehovah" in the Word, you get 86 results from the American Standard Version, all in the Old Testament. Common usages include "calling on the name of Jehovah", or "ministering in the name of Jehovah". Again, in the Word, someone's name signifies their real spiritual quality, or nature. The name of God is very clearly important: "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain". Blasphemy is very bad. False prophecy in the name of Jehovah is very bad.

Let's go back to the initial question: what does Jesus mean when he tells us to ask "in His name"?

It doesn't mean that we're asking one person to intercede for us with another one, who might be a little harsher. It doesn't imply two people at all. It really means that we're asking the Lord for help by recognizing His true spiritual quality. Jesus is "the Word". He's Divine Truth, moved by love. To ask something in His Name is to approach the Lord from a perspective that is seeking truth, and that is both wise and loving.

Из Сведенборгових дела

 

Arcana Coelestia # 2921

Проучите овај одломак

        
/ 10837  
  

2921. 'My lord, you are a prince of God in the midst of us' means the Lord as regards Divine good and truth with them. This is clear from the meaning of 'a lord' and of 'a prince of God', and from the meaning of 'in the midst of us'. The fact that the expression 'lord' is used when good is the subject is clear from the Old Testament Word, for there Jehovah is sometimes called Jehovah, sometimes God, sometimes Lord, sometimes Jehovah God, sometimes Lord Jehovih, sometimes Jehovah Zebaoth, and always for a hidden reason which cannot be known except from the internal sense. In general when the celestial things of love, that is, when good, are dealt with, the name Jehovah is used, but when the spiritual things of faith are dealt with, the name God is used. And when both together are dealt with, the names Jehovah God are used. When however the Divine power of good, that is, when omnipotence is the subject, Jehovah Zebaoth (or Jehovah of Hosts), and also the Lord, are used; so that the names Jehovah Zebaoth and the name the Lord have the same sense and meaning. From this also, that is to say, from the power of good, men and angels are called 'lords', and in the contrary sense those are called servants or slaves who have no power at all or else have a power received from their lords. From these considerations it becomes clear that here 'my lord' in the internal sense means the Lord as regards good, which in what follows below will be illustrated from the Word. 'A prince of God' however means the Lord as regards the power of truth, that is, as regards truth, as becomes clear from the meaning of 'a prince' or 'princes' as first and foremost truths, dealt with in 1482, 2089, and from the fact that the phrase 'a prince of God' is used, for the name God is used when truth is dealt with but the name Jehovah when good is dealt with, 2586, 2769, 2807, 2822. As regards 'in the midst of us' meaning among them or present with them, this is clear without explanation.

[2] That in the Old Testament Word the names Jehovah Zebaoth and the name Lord have the same sense and meaning is clear in Isaiah,

The zeal of Jehovah Zebaoth will do this; the Lord has sent a word into Jacob, and it has fallen on Israel. Isaiah 9:7-8.

Elsewhere in the same prophet,

A mighty king will have dominion over them, said the Lord, Jehovah Zebaoth. Isaiah 19:4.

In Malachi,

Behold, suddenly there will come to His temple the Lord whom you are seeking and the angel of the covenant in whom you delight. Behold, He is coming, says Jehovah Zebaoth. Malachi 3:1.

More plainly, in Isaiah,

I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up. Above Him stood the seraphim; each had six wings. One called to another, Holy, holy, holy is Jehovah Zebaoth. Woe is me! For I am cut off; for my eyes have seen the King, Jehovah Zebaoth. And I heard the voice of the Lord. Isaiah 6:1-3, 5, 8.

From these places it is evident that Jehovah Zebaoth and the Lord have the same meaning.

[3] But 'the Lord Jehovih' is used more particularly when the help of omnipotence is sought and prayed for, as in Isaiah,

Say to the cities of Judah, Behold your God! Behold, the Lord Jehovih will come with might, and His arm will exercise dominion for Him; behold, His reward is with Him, and His work before Him. He will pasture His flock like a shepherd. Isaiah 40:9-11.

For further examples of this use of 'the Lord Jehovih', see Isaiah 25:8; 40:10; 48:16; 50:4-5, 7, 9; 61:1; Jeremiah 2:22; Ezekiel 8:1; 11:13, 17, 21; 12:10, 19, 28; 13:8, 13, 16, 18, 20; 14:4, 6, 11, 18, 20-21; Micah 1:2; Psalms 71:5, 16; and many other places.

[4] What is more, in the Old Testament Word 'the Lord' entails the same as 'Jehovah', that is to say, 'the Lord' is used when good is dealt with, and therefore also the Lord is distinguished from God in the same way as Jehovah is from God; as in Moses,

Jehovah your God, He is God of gods, and Lord of lords. Deuteronomy 10:17.

In David,

Confess the God of gods, for His mercy is for ever; confess the Lord of lords, for His mercy is for ever. Psalms 136:1-3.

[5] But nowhere in the New Testament Word, neither in the Gospels nor in the Book of Revelation, is Jehovah used. Instead of Jehovah the name the Lord occurs - for hidden reasons to be dealt with below. The fact that in the New Testament Word the Lord is used instead of Jehovah is quite clear in Mark,

Jesus said, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord. Therefore you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your thought, and with all your strength. Mark 12:29-30.

The same is expressed in Moses as follows,

Hear, O Israel, Jehovah our God is one Jehovah; and you shall love Jehovah your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength. Deuteronomy 6:4-5.

Here it is evident that the name 'the Lord' is used instead of Jehovah. Likewise in John,

I looked, and behold, a throne had been set in heaven, with one seated upon the throne. Around the throne were four living creatures, full of eyes in front and behind. Each had for himself six wings round about him, and was full of eyes within. They were saying, Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God omnipotent. Revelation 4:2, 6, 8.

This is described in Isaiah as follows,

I saw the Lord seated upon a throne, high and lifted up. Above Him stood the seraphim; each had six wings. One called to another, Holy, holy, holy is Jehovah Zebaoth. Isaiah 6:1-3, 5, 8.

In this case 'the Lord' is used instead of 'Jehovah', that is, 'the Lord God omnipotent' instead of 'Jehovah Zebaoth'. The fact that the four living creatures are the seraphim or cherubs is evident in Ezekiel 1:5, 13-15, 19 and following verses; 10:15. That in the New Testament 'the Lord' is Jehovah is also clear from many other places, as in Luke,

An angel of the Lord appeared to Zechariah. Luke 1:11.

'An angel of the Lord' is used instead of 'an angel of Jehovah'. In the same chapter the angel told Zechariah regarding his son,

He will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. Luke 1:16.

'To the Lord their God' is used instead of 'to Jehovah their God'. Also in the same chapter, the angel told Mary regarding Jesus,

He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to Him the throne of David. Luke 1:32.

'The Lord God' is used instead of 'Jehovah God'. Still in the same chapter,

Mary said, My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Saviour. Luke 1:46-47.

Here also 'the Lord' is used instead of 'Jehovah'. And again in the same chapter, Zechariah prophesied, saying,

Blessed is the Lord God of Israel. Luke 1:68.

'The Lord God' is used instead of 'Jehovah God'. In the same gospel,

An angel of the Lord stood before the shepherds, and the glory of the Lord shone around them. Luke 2:9.

'An angel of the Lord' and 'the glory of the Lord' are used instead of 'an angel of Jehovah' and 'the glory of Jehovah'. In Matthew,

Blessed is He coming in the name of the Lord. Matthew 21:9; 23:39; Luke 13:35; John 12:13.

'In the name of the Lord' is used instead of 'in the name of Jehovah'. There are many other places besides all these, such as Luke 1:28; 2:15, 22-24, 29, 38-39; 5:17; Mark 12:10-11.

[6] Among the hidden reasons why people called Jehovah the Lord were the following: If when the Lord was in the world they had been told that He was the Jehovah mentioned so many times in the Old Testament, see 1736, they would not have accepted it because they would not have believed it. And there is the further reason that as regards the Human the Lord did not become Jehovah until He had in every respect united the Divine Essence to the Human Essence, and the Human Essence to the Divine Essence, see 1725, 1729, 1733, 1745, 1815, 2156, 2751. These became fully united after the final temptation, which was that of the Cross; and it was for this reason that after the Resurrection the disciples always called Him Lord, John 20:2, 13, 15, 18, 20, 25; 21:7, 12, 15-17, 20; Mark 16:19-20; and Thomas said,

My Lord and my God. John 20:28.

And as the Lord was the Jehovah mentioned so many times in the Old Testament, therefore He also told the disciples,

You call Me Master and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If therefore I your Lord and Master have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one anothers' feet. John 13:13-14, 16.

These words mean that He was Jehovah God, for in this instance He is called 'Lord' as regards good, but 'Master' as regards truth. That the Lord was Jehovah is also meant by the angel's words to the shepherds,

To you is born this day a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:11.

'Christ' is used instead of 'Messiah', 'Anointed One', and 'King', 'the Lord, instead of 'Jehovah' - 'Christ' having regard to truth, 'the Lord' to good. Anyone who does not examine the Word carefully cannot know this, for he believes that our Saviour was called Lord because this was an everyday expression that was used to offer respect to Him, as to others, when in reality He was so called by virtue of His being Jehovah.

  
/ 10837  
  

Thanks to the Swedenborg Society for the permission to use this translation.