“But all these things they will do to you on account of My name, because they do not know Him who sent Me.” John 15:21
“But all these things they will do to you on account of You Are Who You Are.” This verse today takes me back to Exodus 3. Here we have another story of You, God, sending someone. This time Moses is being sent for a purpose, to deliver Your people from bondage and unto freedom in the promised land. So Moses says to You, “Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say unto them?'” “Who are You? How will I get people to know? How will they know I’m coming because of You and not because of me? How will they recognize it’s really You?”
That’s a good question, Lord. I mean, after all, Moses was just a man and he had already tried to take things into his own hands once and tried to deliver his people in his own way. And the people didn’t recognize him for it. But now he was being sent under Your authority. What would make them see that? How would they recognize this was of You and not Moses any more?
Has my life changed like that? Am I done with doing things in my own strength? Have I come to the point where I am being sent for a purpose by You? How will people know? How will people see? Will they recognize who sent me?
God said to Moses, ‘ I AM WHO I AM’. And he said, ‘Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.'” And then You take it a step further, Lord, by saying You are “the LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And You identify this as Your name forever, this as Your memorial to all generations.
You are the Ever Existent One. You were, You are, and You always will be. Really, how could we ever give You a name that expresses all that You are? You just ARE ALL THAT YOU ARE. And in this immensity and power of all that You are, one of Your favorite parts of You is that You seek relationship from that part of Your creation known as mankind. Stop to think about that. A God whose name is so wonderful that we can’t really express it, chooses to associate His whole essence with identifying Himself in relationship with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. And this You choose. To me, it’s like You are saying, “The only way You can ever know my name, know who I am, is to know Me. You can’t know of Me. You just have to know Me, experience Me, come along with Me, be Mine. I’m not just an entity, I’m a relationship. You can’t just label Me; You need to live in Me.”
And now we’re ahead in time with John, and Jesus, You’re telling them and us the things that people will do all based on the way they perceive God still, based on who they see as having sent You. On account of who You are, some will choose to mistreat us. Because it excites them in a bad way to think about all that You stand for, it will incite them to take out their anger and frustration on Your representatives. Anyone’s image of You effects their impulses. It excited Pharoah, it excited Meriam (when she became jealous of that relationship with You and Yours to Moses), it excited Moses. But whether our excitement is for You or for ourselves will determine our outcome.
On account of all that You are, some people will be excited against us. It will cause them to act against You by acting against us. And what is the reason for this animosity? The whole cause is because they don’t know or recognize who God is in the first place. So they don’t recognize even the basic fact that You, Jesus, were sent by Him for their benefit. The interesting thing here is that the word for sent here in Greek is “pempo” and it’s related to the word group with things like “apostello.” Now, on one hand the “apostello” group of words is implying a being sent under authority, with the same authority as the one doing the sending. But, “pempo” is just that idea of being sent. If one doesn’t even get the basic idea that You were sent by God, then they are not even anywhere near understanding the power behind the idea and the authority. If one doesn’t even believe the basics, they’re going to miss the meaty stuff altogether.
“[T]hey do not know Him who sent Me.” They can’t see Him; they can’t perceive Him; they can’t discern Him, they can’t know Him; they don’t have regard for Him; they don’t cherish Him. They don’t see Him with their “physical eyes” so that they perceive Him with their “mental eyes”. They can’t say “I see what you are saying.” According to HELPS Word Studies, “eido”- “seeing that becomes knowing” “then is a gateway to grasp spiritual truth (reality) from a physical plane. Eido then is physical seeing (sight) which should be the constant bridge to mental and spiritual seeing (comprehension).” How do You physically see a God whose face no man has seen?
We see Him in Jesus Christ. We see Him in the ways He intervenes in our life. We see Him in the way He speaks to our hearts and through His words. We see Him and His evidences in creation and the lives around us. All we have to do is recognize Him. And it all starts with acknowledging Him. Then it’s followed by responding to Him. And before we know it, He has included us in Him, in His purpose, and He’s sending us with Him on His mission and we are experiencing Him for ourselves.
Lord, all these things they’ll do to me on account of I’m in You. Because they identify me with You, they’ll treat me like You. If they love You, they’ll love me. If they hate You, they’ll hate me. Like Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and You, Jesus, my life has become entwined with Yours. And it’s not the telling people who You are that counts as much as the showing. Because, actually, every one of these people I just mentioned, including You, Jesus, were a demonstration of the power and leading and loving of God.
Lord, I just want to focus on who You are. In the midst of everything, good or bad, I want to demonstrate You. I want people to have every opportunity to see and perceive and to know You. Keep me from being a hindrance to anyone. Look at my examples here. Only one was a perfect example, and that was You, Jesus. And You are in the process of perfecting Yourself in me just as You were perfecting Yourself in Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Moses. I am eternally grateful that You were sent for me. I am eternally grateful that You have opened my eyes to perceive and know You and that You draw me closer every day. Now, let me be so identified with who You are, so wrapped up in who You are, so a part of Your name, that not only do I identify with You, but You identify with me. Let me be a light for You whether it excites people to anger or to love.
Above poster by paintin4him.