Pastor Frank DeFusco
In John 16, we find Jesus addressing His disciples, and informing them that he must shortly leave them. This caused them to be sorrowful, so wanting to lift them up, He stated, “And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.”
What does Jesus mean when He asks His people to pray to the Father “in His name”? May I render to you two points: (1) His authority, and (2) our conformity. A true example of this happened several years ago when my friend John was out of state and found himself short of cash. He went to a bank in California to cash a check, but the teller refused to cash the out-of-state check. “Look at the name at the top,” John says. The teller quickly apologizes and cashes the check. You see, his dad was the bank president, so he was treated well due to his father’s name, having nothing to do with John. So, too, when we pray to the Father, we don’t approach God on the basis of our having logged in 14 hours of Bible verses per week, or having attended two or more Bible studies per week. No, we simply go to Him on the authority of the name of Jesus. A name that is above every other name.
The second point is our conformity. If John had entered that same bank, pulled out a gun, and said to the teller, “My name is John so-and-so. Now give me all your money, or I’m gonna start shooting.” The teller might start loading the bag, but would also hit the silent alarm. For though he is using the president’s name, he would not be acting in conformity to the father’s nature. We, too, when we ask in the name of Jesus, it must not only be in His authority but also in conformity to His nature. This can only be achieved by studying His character as it is described in Holy Writ.
In the Bible, a person’s name was often used to describe their attributes or their nature. For example: Abraham = “father of multitudes,” Isaac = “laughter,” Jacob = “supplanter.” But this you may not know: The genealogy from Adam to Noah reveals the Gospel. Whereby, Adam = “man,” Seth = “appointed,” Enosh = “subject to death,” Cainan = “sorrowful,” Mahalalel = “from the presence of God,” Jared = “one comes down,” Enoch = “dedicated,” Methuselah = “dying he shall send,” Lamech = “to the poor being destroyed,” Noah = “rest.” Thus, “Man, appointed to death, is sorrowful. From the presence of God, one comes down, dedicated. By dying, he shall send to the poor being destroyed, rest.” How true! Love, Pastor Frank.
Pastor Frank teaches Bible Study on Tuesdays and Fridays at 10 a.m. in the Picacho Room, Sports Club. Any questions, please call/text Ellen at 610-428-7244.