"For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’” (Matthew 23:39)

This statement by Jesus has been misinterpreted by ecclesiastical sectarian teachers who claim Jesus is referring to a "second coming."

"For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say..."

The Greek text does not indicate the word "again" at all. Rather, this word has been inserted into the English translation because ecclesiastical translators have assumed the audience was seeing Jesus as he spoke. Therefore, if they saw him in the future, it would be "again."

This assumption is not valid, however.

Furthermore, the word "see" is being translated from the Greek word ὁράω (horaō) which can mean 'to see with the eyes,' but also can mean, as stated in Thayer's Greek lexicon, 'to see with the mind, to perceive, know.'

Jesus' focus was not upon his students "seeing" him. He wanted them to come to "know" him. To "perceive" who Jesus really is means coming to know him.

For example, we might see the president of the U.S. on television and other media. But does this mean we know him personally?Hardly.

We can thus offer a more appropriate translation of this part of Jesus' statement:
"For I tell you, you will not know me until you are saying ..."

"'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’”

So why would it be so important that they say "Blessed is he who comes in the Name of the Lord" before they could perceive or know Jesus? Is this like a secret password or something?

No. Jesus is saying that they will not be able to perceive or know Jesus as he is unless they realize that he has come in the Name of the Lord - that he's God's representative.

Understand that this statement by Jesus follows his being questioned and interrogated by pharisees and high priests as he was giving a sermon. They were questioning his authority, so he proceeded to criticize these priests ("Woe to you....") for their taking advantage of people and not serving God. He followed up this criticism by discussing how the people of Jerusalem and their ancestors had murdered prophets and "Look, your house is left to you desolate" was the statement directly proceeding this one.

So Jesus was saying that these people could not perceive him (know who he was) until they accepted that Jesus came in God's Name. He was God's messenger.

While some have taken Jesus to be discussing some distant date in the future, others have said that Jesus is foretelling his future arrival in Jerusalem:
The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, "Hosanna to the Son of David!" "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!" "Hosanna in the highest!" (Matt. 21:9)
But wait, didn't this occur before Jesus' statement? It was in an earlier verse in Matthew, but Luke and Matthew differ on the chronology. The Book of Luke has Jesus' statement (Luke 13:35) occurring prior to his approach to Jerusalem:
When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen: "Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!" "Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!" (Luke 19:37-38)
As this marks the beginning of the period of time where Jesus was teaching at the temple in Jerusalem and drove out temple marketplace vendors, followed by his being arrested, this chronology is consistent with verses in John (12:13) and Mark (11:9) that indicate this event (when his disciples chanted "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!") occurred prior to Jesus' entering Jerusalem and during the week that Jesus was arrested.

So does this mean that Jesus is foretelling an event to transpire a few weeks later?

First we should realize that the chanting of "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord" did not occur in Jerusalem, but on the road coming down from Mount Olive, some distance away from Jerusalem. Second, the chant was not coming from common Jerusalem citizens. The Luke passage describes clearly that the chanting was coming from "the whole crowd" of Jesus' "disciples" (the Greek word μαθητής means student or disciple).

The next verse in Luke confirms that this chanting was coming exclusively from Jesus' disciples:

"Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, "Teacher, rebuke your disciples!" (Luke 19:39)

The question this bears is why Jesus' disciples are now chanting "Blessed is he who comes in the Name of the Lord"? Are they trying to follow through with his prediction or something?

No. Their chanting indicated that both Jesus and Jesus' disciples put great value on this particular expression, "Blessed is he who comes in the Name of the Lord." The verse also indicates that this verse was a verse that praised the Supreme Being:
... the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices...
Thus the expression was important to Jesus, and important to Jesus' students and disciples - who obviously numbered more than twelve. This is because the "Name of the Lord" was an important part of Jesus' teachings.

Why is this expression - "Blessed is he who comes in the Name of the Lord" - so important that Jesus told the group in his talk that they could not perceive him until this was said, and this very same phrase was chanted by Jesus' many students and disciples as he traveled towards Jerusalem?

"Blessed is he who comes in the Name of the Lord" contains two concepts: 1) A person who is representing God; and 2) The power of God’s Name.

What does it mean to come in someone else's name? This is a simple concept. Say a lawyer comes to our house and says, “I have come in the name of John Doe.” What does this mean? This means that he is representing John Doe. His statements are non-different from John Doe's statements.

When a devoted loving servant of God comes to represent God, God empowers him to speak on His behalf. There is no title, no political appointment. No selection by deacons or bishops. Only God chooses His representative. This is confirmed by the origin of this phrase, from David's Psalm 118, in context (bolding added):
This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. O LORD, save us; O LORD, grant us success.
Blessed is he who comes in the Name of the LORD.
From the house of the LORD we bless you. The LORD is God, and He has made His light shine upon us. With boughs in hand, join in the festal procession up to the horns of the altar.
You are my God, and I will give You thanks; You are my God, and I will exalt You.
Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; His love endures forever.
(Psalm 118:24-29)
We can see here by David's Psalm that the critical element is the praising of God and God's Name. God's Name has great power. How much power? God’s power. The Greatest Supreme Being’s power. The Supreme Controller’s power. This means that whatever power He wants to invest in His Name will be there. Both He and His Name are great.

How can this be? In the physical world, a name is arbitrarily given to a person, and a person's name can be changed. The name is distinct from the person. This is because the living person within the body is made of spirit, not matter. The spiritual individual is different from the physical body, and any name given to that physical body is separate from the spiritual individual.

This is not applicable to the spiritual dimension, where the Supreme Being dwells. Here, God and His Name are inseparable. God is present in His reference, because there is no duality in the spiritual dimension.

This may be difficult for the mind to conceive. This is because the mind itself is a product of the dualistic physical world.

The bottom line is that God is present in His Holy Names. Praising God's Names, calling on God’s Names, singing God’s Names and repeating (chanting) God’s Names are cherished practices that have been enjoined for thousands of years. They allow us to connect with God, and re-develop our relationship with the Supreme Being. This is supported by scripture:

Genesis 4:26:
At that time men began to call on the Name of the LORD.

Genesis 12:8:
From there he [Abraham] went on toward the hills east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to the LORD and called on the Name of the LORD.

Genesis 13:4:
...and where he had first built an altar. There Abram called on the Name of the LORD.

Genesis 21:33:
Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba, and there he called upon the Name of the LORD, the Eternal God.

Genesis 26:25:
Isaac built an altar there and called on the Name of the LORD. There he pitched his tent, and there his servants dug a well.

Exodus 20:7:
"You shall not misuse the Name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his Name."

Deuteronomy 5:11:
"You shall not misuse the Name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his Name."

Deuteronomy 18:7:
"...he may minister in the Name of the LORD his God like all his fellow Levites who serve there in the presence of the LORD."

Deuteronomy 18:22:
"If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him."

Deuteronomy 21:5:
"The priests, the sons of Levi, shall step forward, for the LORD your God has chosen them to minister and to pronounce blessings in the Name of the LORD and to decide all cases of dispute and assault."

Deuteronomy 28:10:
"Then all the peoples on earth will see that You are called by the Name of the LORD, and they will revere You."

Deuteronomy 32:3:
"I will proclaim the Name of the LORD. Oh, praise the greatness of our God!"

Samuel 17:45:
David said to the Philistine, "You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the Name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied."

1 Samuel 20:42:
Jonathan said to David, "Go in peace, for we have sworn friendship with each other in the Name of the LORD, saying, 'The LORD is witness between you and me, and between your descendants and my descendants forever.'" Then David left, and Jonathan went back to the town.

2 Samuel 6:2:
He and all his men set out from Baalah of Judah to bring up from there the ark of God, which is called by the Name, the Name of the LORD Almighty, who is enthroned between the cherubim that are on the ark.

2 Samuel 6:18:
After he had finished sacrificing the burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, he blessed the people in the Name of the LORD Almighty.

1 Kings 3:2:
The people, however, were still sacrificing at the high places, because a temple had not yet been built for the Name of the LORD.

1 Kings 5:3:
"You know that because of the wars waged against my father David from all sides, he could not build a temple for the Name of the LORD his God until the LORD put his enemies under his feet."

1 Kings 5:5:
"I intend, therefore, to build a temple for the Name of the LORD my God, as the LORD told my father David, when He said, 'Your son whom I will put on the throne in your place will build the temple for my Name.'"

1 Kings 8:17:
"My father David had it in his heart to build a temple for the Name of the LORD, the God of Israel."


1 Kings 8:20:
"The LORD has kept the promise he made: I have succeeded David my father and now I sit on the throne of Israel, just as the LORD promised, and I have built the temple for the Name of the LORD, the God of Israel."

1 Kings 10:1:
When the queen of Sheba heard about the fame of Solomon and his relation to the Name of the LORD, she came to test him with hard questions.

1 Kings 18:24:
Then you call on the name of your god, and I will call on the Name of the LORD. The god who answers by fire — He is God." Then all the people said, "What you say is good."

1 Kings 18:32:
With the stones he built an altar in the Name of the LORD, and he dug a trench around it large enough to hold two seahs of seed.

1 Kings 22:16:
The king said to him, "How many times must I make you swear to tell me nothing but the truth in the Name of the LORD ?"

2 Kings 2:24:
He turned around, looked at them and called down a curse on them in the Name of the LORD. Then two bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the youths.

2 Kings 5:11:
But Naaman went away angry and said, "I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the Name of the LORD his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy."

Jeremiah 20:13:
"Sing to the LORD! Give praise to the LORD! He rescues the life of the needy from the hands of the wicked."

1 Chronicles 16:2:
After David had finished sacrificing the burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, he blessed the people in the Name of the LORD.

1 Chronicles 21:19:
So David went up in obedience to the word that Gad had spoken in the Name of the LORD.

1 Chronicles 22:7:
David said to Solomon: "My son, I had it in my heart to build a house for the Name of the LORD my God."

1 Chronicles 22:19:
"Now devote your heart and soul to seeking the LORD your God. Begin to build the sanctuary of the LORD God, so that you may bring the ark of the covenant of the LORD and the sacred articles belonging to God into the temple that will be built for the Name of the LORD."

2 Chronicles 2:1:
Solomon gave orders to build a temple for the Name of the LORD and a royal palace for himself.

2 Chronicles 2:4:
"Now I am about to build a temple for the Name of the LORD my God and to dedicate it to Him for burning fragrant incense before Him, for setting out the consecrated bread regularly, and for making burnt offerings every morning and evening and on Sabbaths and New Moons and at the appointed feasts of the LORD our God. This is a lasting ordinance for Israel."

2 Chronicles 6:7
"My father David had it in his heart to build a temple for the Name of the LORD, the God of Israel."

2 Chronicles 6:10:
"The LORD has kept the promise he made. I have succeeded David my father and now I sit on the throne of Israel, just as the LORD promised, and I have built the temple for the Name of the LORD, the God of Israel."

2 Chronicles 18:15:
The king said to him, "How many times must I make you swear to tell me nothing but the truth in the Name of the LORD ?"

2 Chronicles 33:18:
The other events of Manasseh's reign, including his prayer to his God and the words the seers spoke to him in the Name of the LORD, the God of Israel, are written in the annals of the kings of Israel.

Job 1:21:
"Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the Name of the LORD be praised."

Psalm 7:17:
"I will give thanks to the LORD because of his righteousness and will sing praise to the Name of the LORD Most High."

Psalm 20:7:
"Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the Name of the LORD our God."

Psalm 102:15:
"The nations will revere the Name of the LORD, all the kings of the earth will revere your glory."

Psalm 102:21:
"So the Name of the LORD will be declared in Zion and His praise in Jerusalem."

Psalm 113:1:
"Praise the LORD. Praise, O servants of the LORD, praise the Name of the LORD."

Psalm 113:2:
"Let the Name of the LORD be praised, both now and forevermore."

Psalm 113:3:
"From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the Name of the LORD is to be praised."

Psalm 116:4:
"Then I called on the Name of the LORD: "O LORD, save me!"

Psalm 116:13:
"I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the Name of the LORD."

Psalm 116:17:
"I will sacrifice a thank offering to You and call on the Name of the LORD."

Psalm 122:4:
"That is where the tribes go up, the tribes of the LORD, to praise the Name of the LORD according to the statute given to Israel."

Psalm 124:8:
"Our help is in the Name of the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth."

Psalm 129:8:
"May those who pass by not say, "The blessing of the LORD be upon you; we bless you in the Name of the LORD.""

Psalm 135:1:
"Praise the LORD. Praise the Name of the LORD; praise Him, you servants of the LORD"

Psalm 148:5:
"Let them praise the Name of the LORD, for He commanded and they were created."

Psalm 148:13:
"Let them praise the Name of the LORD, for His Name alone is exalted; His splendor is above the earth and the heavens."

Proverbs 18:10:
"The Name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe."

Isaiah 18:7:
"At that time gifts will be brought to the LORD Almighty from a people tall and smooth-skinned, from a people feared far and wide, an aggressive nation of strange speech, whose land is divided by rivers — the gifts will be brought to Mount Zion, the place of the Name of the LORD Almighty."

Isaiah 24:15:
"Therefore in the east give glory to the LORD; exalt the Name of the LORD, the God of Israel, in the islands of the sea."

Isaiah 50:10:
"Let him who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the Name of the LORD and rely on his God."

Isaiah 56:6:
"And foreigners who bind themselves to the LORD to serve Him, to love the Name of the LORD, and to worship Him..."

Isaiah 59:19:
"From the west, men will revere the Name of the LORD, and from the rising of the sun, they will revere his glory."

Jeremiah 3:17:
"At that time they will call Jerusalem The Throne of the LORD, and all nations will gather in Jerusalem to honor the Name of the LORD. No longer will they follow the stubbornness of their evil hearts."

Jeremiah 26:16:
Then the officials and all the people said to the priests and the prophets, "This man should not be sentenced to death! He has spoken to us in the Name of the LORD our God."

Jeremiah 26:20:
Now Uriah son of Shemaiah from Kiriath Jearim was another man who prophesied in the Name of the LORD

Joel 2:26:
"You will have plenty to eat, until you are full, and you will praise the Name of the LORD your God, who has worked wonders for you; never again will my people be shamed."

Joel 2:32:
"And everyone who calls on the Name of the LORD will be saved"

Micah 4:5:
"...we will walk in the Name of the LORD our God for ever and ever."

Micah 5:4:
"He will stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the Name of the LORD his God."

Zephaniah 3:9:
"Then will I purify the lips of the peoples, that all of them may call on the Name of the LORD and serve him shoulder to shoulder."

Zephaniah 3:12:
"But I will leave within you the meek and humble, who trust in the Name of the LORD."

Matthew 21:9:
"Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!"

Matthew 23:39:
"'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.' "

Mark 11:9:
"Blessed is he who comes in the Name of the Lord!"

Luke 13:35:
"'Blessed is he who comes in the Name of the Lord.' "

Luke 19:38:
"Blessed is the king who comes in the Name of the Lord!"

John 12:13:
"Blessed is he who comes in the Name of the Lord!"


Acts 2:21:
"And everyone who calls on the Name of the Lord will be saved."

Acts 3:10:
When all the people saw him walking and praising God.

Acts 9:28:
So Saul stayed with them and moved about freely in Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the Name of the Lord.

Acts 10:46:
For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God.

Acts 16:25:
About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.

2 Timothy 2:19:
"Nevertheless, God's solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: "The Lord knows those who are His," and, "Everyone who confesses the Name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness."

James 5:10:
"Brothers, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the Name of the Lord."

Romans 10:13:
"Everyone who calls on the Name of the Lord will be saved."

2 Corinthians 11:31:
"The God and Father of the Lord Jesus Who is to be praised forever..."

Ephesians 5:19:
Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord.

Colossians 3:16:
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.


As we can see from this multitude of scriptural verses, the Name of God is endowed with special power and authority: The Supreme Being's. By sincerely repeating, singing or otherwise praising God’s Holy Names, we reconnect with God. This is why we find that Jesus' disciples were praising God's Holy Names: "the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices" (Luke 19:37). They were being disciples, and following Jesus' teachings, which obviously pressed the importance of praising God's Holy Names. Jesus, in fact, was pressing this case in the verse above (Matt. 23:39) before ecclesiastical translators changed its meaning simply by adding the word "again."

The sound vibration of God’s Names delivers God before us, because His Name is non-different from Himself. For this reason we can directly reach God by repeating His Names with humility, sincerity and love.

So when Jesus says, “you will not know me until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the Name of the Lord,” he is explaining that his followers can only come to know Jesus when they are accepting his role as God's representative, and accept the importance of God's Holy Names.

We can apply this teaching by regularly hearing and repeating (praising) God's Holy Names. It does not matter which of God's Holy Names we choose, as the Supreme Being has many Names and references. What matters is that we are sincere and humble in our approach.

What is the effect of humbly and sincerely hearing and praising God's Holy Names? Through His Names, He reveals Himself to us from within. Gradually, we can come to know Him and love Him. This is the goal of life, as Jesus taught:
“ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment.” (Matt. 22:37-38)



 (For a translation of Jesus' statements from the Book of Matthew without institutional sectarian influence, see the Gospels of Jesus  - translated from the original Greek texts.)