Readings for the Day
2 Kings 24, Jeremiah 22, Psalms 122, John 18
Verses for the Day
"Jesus knowing all hat was going to happen to him, went out and asked them, “Who is it you want?” 5 “Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “I am he,” Jesus said. (And Judas the traitor was standing there with them.) 6 When Jesus said, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground.
Thoughts for the Day
As Jesus' end draws near, the Pharisees and chief officials, led by Judas, come with lanterns, torches and weapons expecting him to put up a fight. But Jesus knows why they are there and is quite complicit in the whole matter. When they ask for, "Jesus of Nazareth". Jesus answers, "I am he". This is in keeping with John's theme and purpose to prove that Jesus is both God and man.
When he uses the term "I am he", it is the Greek translation for the word "Yahweh" in the Old Testament. The sacred and rarely used name of God. This term is used 24 times in the book, including the "I am" statements like "I am the bread of life", and "I am the light of the world". But 7 times it is used in the absolute sense where it would mean "I AM", or "I have always been". This is the only name God went by, and the name which He gave Moses to represent Him to the Israelites.
When Jesus says who He is, the men fell to the ground. Obviously there was a sense of his transcendence when he uttered His divine name. This didn't stop the soldiers from arresting him, but was a foreshadowing of his majesty and glory.
What is the importance for us today? For one thing we end our prayers by praying,"in Jesus'name". This is often added without a lot of thought given to the meaning of the words, but it's importance should not be overlooked. For as Jesus said earlier in chapter 14,
"And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it."
Paul when describing Jesus' glory when God raised him from the dead says this about Jesus' name,
"9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father."
In regard to evil we are given the assurance of the power of Jesus' name.
Jesus says this to the disciples in Mark 16, "In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues." Notice how Jesus makes it clear that we are to cast out the spirits using His name.
Now if we look into the early church, we see Paul using Jesus' name to drive an evil spirit out of a woman:
Acts 16:18, "And this she did for many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour."
Okay I think you get the point. And remember you were baptized in the name of Jesus, in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. May we be honored to carry the name of Christ into all the world and make sure to use it wisely.