Modernist Jesus vs. New Testament Jesus, Part 9
The Latest Real Jesus would, we are told, be disgusted…
9. That people think there is magical potency in uttering the name of Jesus, rather than accessing our own natural powers and capabilities to effect change.
Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” * And he said, “Say this to the sons of Israel, ‘I am has sent me to you.’ ” God also said to Moses, “Say this to the sons of Israel, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you’: this is my name for ever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations. (Ex 3:13–15).
“You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.” (Ex 20:7).
Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” And Jesus said, “I am; and you will see the Son of man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.” (Mk 14:61–62).
“Before Abraham was, I AM.” – John 8:58
Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child of the Holy Spirit; and her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to send her away quietly. But as he considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit; she will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” (Mt 1:18–21).
Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” (Mt 18:19–20).
And every one who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life. (Mt 19:29).
Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me; and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me.” (Mk 9:37).
John said to him, “Teacher, we saw a man casting out demons in your name, and we forbade him, because he was not following us.” But Jesus said, “Do not forbid him; for no one who does a mighty work in my name will be able soon after to speak evil of me. For he that is not against us is for us. For truly, I say to you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you bear the name of Christ, will by no means lose his reward. (Mk 9:38–41).
Whatever you ask in my name, I will do it, that the Father may be glorified in the Son; if you ask anything in my name, I will do it. (Jn 14:13–14).
“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide; so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. This I command you, to love one another. (Jn 15:12–17).
Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask anything of the Father, he will give it to you in my name. Until now you have asked nothing in my name; ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full. (Jn 16:23–24).
“I have said this to you in figures; the hour is coming when I shall no longer speak to you in figures but tell you plainly of the Father. In that day you will ask in my name; and I do not say to you that I shall ask the Father for you; for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from the Father. I came from the Father and have come into the world; again, I am leaving the world and going to the Father.” (Jn 16:25–28).
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch of mine that bears no fruit, he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already made clean by the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. (Jn 15:1–5).
Yet again, what we discover is that the actual real Jesus, the only one about whom we have documentation from eyewitnesses or those who knew them is that he talked repeatedly about praying to the Father in his name and said very plainly, not “rely on yourself” but, “Apart from me you can do nothing.”
The Name is very important in ancient Hebraic culture and the Divine Name (“I AM”) the most important of all. It is so sacred that euphemisms are found to avoid saying it. So it is a huge deal when Jesus takes that Name to himself. And by taking it to himself he is claiming to be God. So naturally his disciples understand his Name to be sacred, not “magic” and obey his repeated commands to pray in his Name. As ever, this is not the opposite of obedience to him, but part of obedience. And, as with the Lord Prayer, it involves action (“thy kingdom come, thy will be done”) in addition to words.
On Monday, we will look at the False MAGA antichrist Jesus who is the real and rightful object of the attacks directed at New Testament Jesus by the creator of the Latest Real Jesus in this series.