Saturday 23 May 2020

Sixth week of Easter

Word for today
The Gospel of John 16:23b-28


Amen, amen I say to you, whatever you ask [Greek: aitèo] the Father in my name he will give it to you.
Aitèo is one of the many verbs in the language Jesus uses that signifies and better illustrates the “pray." There are many and the most important besides  aitèo, I ask, I implore, are  "prosèuchomai, "I pray, I implore, I invoke,” dèomai, "I lack something, I need”,  exomologhèomai  "I acknowledge, I thank, I  praise”, kròuo  "to knock, to  hit,  to shake",  agalliào "to decorate, to celebrate",  ainèo "to praise, to eulogize", doxàzo "I take part in the joy", eucharistèo, "to give thanks”, euloghèo "to be blessed."
Aitèo, "to ask, beg, call for, crave, desire, require,” is a verb expressing a peremptory need, a mandatory requirement. It is a verb that Jesus teaches his followers but never uses with reference to Himself.  The etymology of this word has its roots in ancient Sanskrit and means "to take, conquer."  In classical Greek, the word aitèo was tied to the concept of demanding the return of something or wanting back stolen goods or a collection of debts; therefore the evangelical view of aitèo indicates that one must persist with a demand until it is met.  In the New Testament the original meaning of the verb emphasizes that this prayer request is effective thanks to the insistent, peremptory and perpetual quality of the petition until it is attained.
To this expressively urgent verb must be added En to onòmati or “in the name.” The Greek preposition en meaning "in, on," is a modality, a way of asking a question.  The prayer, or the request must not be  made just for something, it is made within something. The claim must be peremptory insside someone, “in the name.”   Jesus has a name: God, Ònoma.
The Greek term ònoma, "name", traceable to the Sanskrit naman, indicates the profound identity, the cause of existence, the sense and direction, and the reason of life. In Hebrew ònoma is translated into word shem, in Aramaic into shmo. In the religious mentality of the Bible, the Name, when used with reference to God, indicates His essence, His presence, and represents His person and all that God means.
The Name is at the center of all biblical history, it is the origin, the reason, the motive, the purpose, the end of everything imparted in the Bible. Everything in the present moment and continuously is praising and glorifying the name of God, in every corner of the universe and of the earth. Everything lives, throbs, moves, eats, breathes, sings, shines forth in His Name and glorifies His name. The birds of the sky everywhere on earth at this moment in space and time form an endless symphony of singing and celebration. They sing and praise, they celebrate and glorify God's name without respite.  The heavenly myriads never cease to praise, exalt and to sanctify the Name of God on earth and in heaven . When Jesus entered Jerusalem before the passion and  the Pharisees asked him to silence the cry of the festive disciples and the chants of the crowd, he answered: "I tell you, if they keep silent, the stones will cry out!" (Luke 19.40).
And what is the name of names?
The Greek of the New Testament and the Hebrew of the Old Testament both use a single term to indicate “being safe and sound:” one does not exist without the other, they are inseparable and interdependent. In Greek the word is Sozo, "healthy, safe," from which  originates the noun Soter, "healer-savior," which is the name of Jesus.  In Hebrew there is the verb yashà’ “to help, to heal, to save,” which originates from the feminine noun yeshùah meaning “salvation, wealth, prosperity, freedom, God's salvation, salvation from all evil, salvation which brings joy, peace, prosperity”.  It is from this noun that Jesus’s name, in Hebrew-Aramaic, Yeshùa originates.
Jesus states that with Him a completely new time has begun, a time that has literally never been, until now you have not asked [Greek: aitèo] anything in my name. This is a time when man becomes aware of the name of Jesus, the name through which we receive and achieve everything.   Peace and beauty, harmony and grace reside in this name.  That is why Jesus forecefully emphasizes that, in His name, He wants nothing less than total joy for us, all the joy possible and that there should no other prayer or request except for joy.
Ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete, literally asking [Greek: aitèo] and receiving [Greek: lambàno], until your joy is achieved [Greek: pleròo]. The request/prayer/claim in the name of Jesus, in the name of Safe-Sound, will always obtain everything. The verb to get in Greek “lambàno” is a very concrete verb, a verb for conquest that goes beyond the simple meaning “to get something,” it literally means "to put one’s hands on." By using this verb Jesus emphasizes the total power of prayer in His name which literally makes it possible for us to get our hands on what we want.
But the beautiful thing is that everything we obtain in the name of Jesus is in function of complete and ultimate joy. This is forcefully expressed by the verb pleròo that John uses to let us know the completeness of God's gifts, a verb actually meaning: "I fill, I fill up, I make it complete, I execute, I carry on."  Pleròo means to fill the jug until it is overflowing. The text is saying then that by imploring within the name of Yeshua, we can put our hands on exhorbitant joy that literally overflows from all over, a complete joy, an absolute joy that no one can ever take away from us.