The Gospel of John: Asking and Receiving

“In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.” (John 16:23-24)

The day to which Jesus referred to was the Day of Pentecost. It would become a day in which the disciples’ hearts would rejoice and their joy would never go away (John 16:22) because they would become permanently indwelt by the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1-13; Romans 8:1-9). The Day of Pentecost would also inaugurate what is biblically known as the “last days”  which follow the resurrection and ascension of Jesus and the Holy Spirit’s arrival (Acts 2:17; 2 Timothy 3:1; Hebrews 1:2; James 5:1-3; 2 Peter 3:1-3; I John 2:18).

Jesus said that on that Day of Pentecost the disciples would ask nothing of Him. This would be the case because Jesus would no longer be with them physically. However, the object of their prayers would be God the Father as Jesus taught in Matthew 6:9-13.

Jesus then invoked His familiar statement revealing His own authority as God: “Truly, truly, I say to you.” What is the true truth Jesus gave His disciples then and now? “Whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you.”

Jesus’ statement was a cause and effect declaration. It would involve His disciples’ responsibilities as ambassadors for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17-21). To do the ministry God called them to do, all disciples of Jesus would have the privilege of calling upon God the Father in prayer in order to accomplish His work.

Dr. John Walvoord writes, “They would be His ambassadors and therefore had the right to ask the Father for whatever they needed to accomplish His will. The words in My name are not a magical formula which enable the user to get his will done; instead those words tied the requests to the work of the Son in doing the Father’s will (cf. “in My name” in 14:13–14; 15:16; 16:24, 26). Up to this point the disciples had not prayed in the name of Jesus. Now they are to do this since Jesus’ death and the Spirit’s coming would enable them to enter into God’s new program of the Church Age. Answered prayer brings complete joy (cf. 15:11; 16:22) because God is at work in them.”

What was true for the disciples of Jesus then is equally true today. We pray to God the Father, in the name of God the Son, and in the power of God the Holy Spirit. The purpose of such a discipline and privilege is to hallow God’s name and character, to display His authority in our lives and to do His will. This brings lasting joy.

May truth and grace reside here.

Soli deo Gloria!

 

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