On that day you will ask nothing of me. Very truly, I tell you, if you ask anything of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete.
To ordinary and weak disciples who soon will forsake Him, Jesus promises unimagined intimacy with the Father. Jesus’ purpose in coming will be accomplished as He brings them close to the Father’s heart. In the Father’s embrace, they will have power in prayer.
Through His atoning death and sacrifice Jesus removes the barrier of sin separating us from the Father. “On that day” (Pentecost) we are then empowered to go straight to the Father in Jesus’ name. That will mean such intimacy with Father that we can talk with Him about “anything”.
Up to this point the disciples had not asked the Father for anything in Jesus’ name. Jesus had not yet offered Himself up as the sacrifice for sin to bring us to the Father. But now, the disciples, and we too, have the privilege of boldly asking from the Father and receiving from the Father. There is so much Jesus wants us to have, and so urges us to ask the Father in His name.
Earlier in the Upper Room Discourse, Jesus had talked about asking in His name (John 14:13; 15:16). There we saw that asking in Jesus’ name is more than tacking on the words, “in Jesus’ name” at the end of a prayer. To pray “in Jesus’ name” means two things. First, it means to pray in the confidence that it is through Jesus we stand “holy and blameless before the Father in love” (Ephesians 1:4). Second, it means to ask for what Jesus would ask if He were the one asking. When we pray in Jesus name we can say “Amen”, knowing that we will receive from the Father.
William Barclay sums up the meaning of prayer “in Jesus’ name”:
We know that the door is open; we know that his name is Father; we know that his heart is love. We are like children who never doubt that their father delights to see them or that they can talk to him as they wish. In that relationship Jesus says we may ask for anything.
Yet aren’t we often timid in our prayers? We offer up vague generalities to the Father, afraid to ask for anything specific. But Jesus says: “Ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete”. There is nothing like the experience of talking with the Father and experiencing His answers to prayer. Jesus says that it is joy made “complete”. So, “Ask”!
What are there in Jesus’ words today to know; to feel; to do?