April 21, 2014
From the desk of Dr. A.J. Higgins
I will declare Thy Name unto My brethren
What was the great concern of the Son as He spoke to His Father in John 17? Why did He request resurrection? “Glorify Thy Son” was a request that was legitimate and morally right in light of His life. He had every right to request resurrection and vindication. None had ever been as faithful to God as He. He then added, however, “That Thy Son may also glorify Thee” (John 17:1). He did not ask for resurrection and exaltation in order to be vindicated or honored; it was not to be able to rule over His foes or to immediately return in vengeance on them. His desire was far loftier and so totally consistent with His person.
His request for resurrection (“glorify Thou Me”) was that He might glorify the Father. This would be accomplished in the same manner in which He had already glorified His Father on earth. Listen as He speaks once again in the upper room: “. that they might know Thee . I have manifested Thy Name .” (John 17:3, 6). He had come to reveal the Father. As He would take His place at God’s right hand, His great and ultimate purpose would be to continue to reveal or to “declare” the Father.
Melchizedek-like, He would come forth and reveal fresh revelations of all that the Father is (Gen 14:19). He had come to bring from earth a harvest of worshipers for the Father (John 4); now, in resurrection, He would unfold fresh glories of the Father to the accompanying peals of worship of His own. Eternity shall echo with the praises of the redeemed as He eternally “declares” the Father’s Name to us. Never will there arise a moment when there is not something fresh to learn; never will the wonders cease. We will never plumb the depths of the Father’s heart, or the heights of the Son’s glory. Thankfully, never will our worship grow cold or stale.
Here in Psalm 22, this declaration of His intention to reveal or declare the name of God to His brethren is the very first statement following His long night of sorrow and suffering (vv 1-21). It is as though He emerges from the storm with one sole longing – to glorify His God. His great desire was to bring men to enjoy something of what He had been enjoying eternally of His Father! What a Son!
To this end, note His first meeting on resurrection ground with Mary Magdalene. If He had only told her, “I ascend to My God and your God,” that would be totally in keeping with O. T. teaching. But He preceded it with: “to My Father and your Father” (John 20:17). Such a relationship was little appreciated by the nation of Israel. In fact the first time that God is spoken of as a Father to Israel is not until Deuteronomy 32:6 in Moses’ final words to the nation. This new relationship with all its tenderness and care required the Son of the Father to reveal.
Both now in time, and for all eternity, He shall continue to “declare Thy Name” unto those He has deigned to call “His brethren.” Whether to equip for trial while we are here on earth (as with Melchizedek in Genesis 14) or to furnish material for worship both here and eternally, He is always the great expositor of all the Father is.
What has the Lord Jesus revealed of the character of God in this Psalm alone?