Lesson 94

The Gospel of John

World English Bible translation

 Today's Scripture

16:23 In that day you will ask me no question. Most assuredly I tell you, whatever you may ask of the Father, he will give it to you in my name. 16:24 Until now, you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be made full. 16:25 I have spoken these things to you in figures of speech. But the time comes when I will no more speak to you in figures of speech, but will tell you plainly about the Father. 16:26 In that day you will ask in my name; and I don't say to you, that I will pray to the Father for you, 16:27 for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me, and have believed that I came forth from God. 16:28 I came out from the Father, and have come into the world. Again, I leave the world, and go to the Father."

 Today's Lesson 

Jesus had told the disciples that they would soon be full of sorrow. He was preparing them for His death. But He promised them that in a short time, their sorrow would be turned to joy. Their trial would be like that of a pregnant woman who endures labor for the joy of bringing new life into the world. For a little while they would have sorrow. Then, in a little while, they would be filled with joy.


Jesus then tells them that "In that day," on the day when their joy is made complete, they will not need to ask questions as to what He was trying to explain to them. Suddenly they would understand many things that He had been trying to tell them. They would understand that death was not a barrier that could separate them from their Lord. They would understand that His power over life and death extended past the grave.


And He goes on to tell them that in that day, they can ask whatever they will of the Father in Heaven if they ask in His name. The Father will be generous with them so that the Son will be glorified. What does it mean to ask in Christ's name? Jesus has told these men that the Spirit of God would come to them. The Father and the Son would come and live within them and they would begin to know the unity of God.


Within this context, asking for something from the Father "in Christ's name" means asking for something that will glorify Christ. If I am asking for something that will only benefit myself, that would not be asking in His name. But, if I ask for something that I desire so that Christ will be magnified, in my own life or in the life of those around me, that would be asking for something in His name.


Jesus is giving us unlimited authority to ask for anything in His name that will glorify the Father and lead people to faith in Christ. And He tells us that the Father is eager to respond to such request. The Father's will is that the Son be glorified in us. The problem that most of us have in this area is that we do not know how to truly pray as Christ would have us. If we did, all of our prayers would be answered. How are we to know whether our requests are appropriate?


It is the role of the Spirit of God to lead us to truth. If we rely on the Spirit to lead us into the ways of God and to teach us what to pray for, He will do so. But, His ways are demanding. The ways of God are those of obedience and sacrifice. Many times I think that getting whatever I pray for would be wonderful, but if the cost is the denial of self and sacrifice, I hold back from true obedience. Christ was obedient even unto death on the cross. Am I willing to sacrifice even my life so that God is glorified in my sacrifice?


I regret to say that most of the time I am all too willing to compromise and fall short of true obedience. I am heartened by the fact that God's grace extends to the faint of heart, but I also know that I am accepting less that God would desire to give to me. I restrict myself when I allow my own desires and sin to come between myself and God's desire to bless me with all He is capable of providing. God blesses those who allow the life of Christ to flow through them into the lives of those around them. When we become a conduit of His love and grace to this dying world, the blessings of service are not just for those that receive Christ's love from us, they are for us as well. Our own thirst is quenched when streams of living water that come from God flow through us.


What are you allowing to come between you and the blessing that God desires to give you? What is preventing you from serving the God that loved you enough to die for you?


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