Loving Father, may I have the power to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge (Ephesians 3:18-19).
“So you have pain now; but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you. 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.”
It’s our standing weekly date! Early on Saturday mornings my wife Rita and I go out for coffee. It’s not really the coffee we’re after, as much as heart-to-heart, relaxed, easy conversation. We go without any agenda. Nothing is off the table. We can talk about anything. And we love it! That’s because God made humans for relationship, first with Himself, and then with others! We long to share with each other, to come close.
In today’s scripture Jesus talks about intimate, close conversation with God. He says that it can happen, “On that day”, the Day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit comes to make His home in them. The disciples had plied Jesus with questions that night such as, “How can we know the way? Where are you going? Why can’t we go? How will you reveal yourself to us and not to the world?”
Jesus promises His disciples that all their questions will get answered: “On that day you will ask nothing of me.” That means “When they are illuminated by the Spirit there will be no room for such questions… His going to the Father will gain for them perfect knowledge.” (Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges) They can be assured that the Holy Spirit will sort out their questions about Jesus’ death, resurrection, and His coming to live in them. The Holy Spirit will teach and guide them in the way ahead.
Jesus encourages His disciples to ask the Father for whatever they need in following Him. He repeats His earlier promise (John 14:13-14; 15:16) that their heavenly Father will give them whatever they ask for in “Jesus’ name”. For us to pray in Jesus’ name means that we pray depending solely on Jesus’ merit and work, and seek to line up our wills with His. Jesus is saying to us: “‘Bring your wishes into line with My purpose, and then you will get them’; ‘Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of thine heart.’” (Alexander Maclaren, John). Jesus instructs fainthearted, anxious disciples: “Ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete.”
The disciples joy will be “complete” as the indwelling Holy Spirit answers their questions and the heavenly Father answers their prayers. “Very truly” Jesus promises, “Your joy will be a river overflowing its banks” (John 16:24b, The Message).
God made us for close, intimate communion with Him. He longs to hear our questions and to give to us what we need. We can talk with Him about anything! Nothing is off the table!
- What do I want to talk about with God today?
O most merciful Redeemer, Friend and Brother, may I know Thee more clearly, love Thee more dearly, and follow Thee more nearly, day by day.
Richard of Chichester (1197-1253)