“Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name …” (John 17:11c)

Duke Snider, who played for the Dodgers in Brooklyn and then Los Angeles from 1947-1962, lived in Fallbrook beginning in 1958. Of course, he was our hometown celebrity and a kind, generous, modest community member. In the late summer of 1960, Fallbrook Village leaders chartered a few buses to take people to see the Duke play in LA. Many families and youth went to sit in a special section in the stadium. It was a fun time especially for me and a few of my girlfriends as we were about to enter high school. On the way home, several older high school-age boys began to tease us as boys of that age tend to do. They asked our names, but I would not tell them my last name. I stubbornly did not tell it because my mother might have taught them English and my father would teach them American History; knowing that name definitely would have changed the dynamics! This memory came to me when I began to think about the passage of Scripture we are studying. Whose name are we known by and why is it important?

This seems a parallel to what the Jewish people had been called to do. “For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD chose you out of all the peoples of the earth to be His people …” (Deuteronomy 7:6). They were chosen so that the world could see a people blessed by Jehovah because of His covenant with them. They were to live in obedience, worship, and trust of God so the world would want to know the God who both loves and blesses. But they didn’t. God knew this would happen and that He would choose another people to be known by His name.

In John 17:6-19, the Lord Jesus is praying for the disciples to do what the Jewish people could not. According to Lawrence Richards, former professor at Wheaton College, God has work for us to do on earth:

“God wants a very simple thing, which every believer no matter how humble, can share in fully. God wants us to manifest (make known) His name. We have received Jesus’ words and believed in Him. Now we are to live out those words on earth. The quality of our lives is what will make plain to those around us the character of God.” p.748, Teacher’s Commentary

Now that we have the permanent indwelling of the Holy Spirit and we have the righteousness of Christ, we can do this. “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, belonging to God… Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of wrongdoing, they may see your good deeds and glorify God …” (1 Peter 2:9, 12).

Meditation: Whose name are you known by? Christian, Jesus follower, or what? How does your life demonstrate the character of God? Consider how the Holy Spirit will help you to complete the work you are called to do.

Francie Overstreet
EFCC Member

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