And whatever you shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.…
Great works involve great gifts. Our Lord, having assured his disciples that in the coming dispensation they should perform marvelous achievements, transcending even his own deeds of might and grace, now proceeds to explain how they shall be qualified for service so arduous and effective. Prayer shall be offered, and prayer altogether special and Christian; and in answer to such prayer the virtue and efficiency needed shall be bestowed.
I. THE PRAYER WHICH CHRIST SANCTIONS.
1. The petitions here encouraged are such as the disciples of Jesus offer. Not that any human being is forbidden to pray, but that there is special encouragement for those who are Christ's own scholars and friends, and that there is a special guarantee on their behalf.
2. The condition affixed to the direction and promise of the text is very instructive. What is asked must be asked in Jesus' Name. This was a new condition, one which up to this time it was not in their power to fulfill, but which henceforth would be felt by them to be most natural and appropriate. In explaining this condition, it must be borne in mind that Jesus was explaining the unity of his people with himself; so that on the one hand they were called to bring all their desires into harmony with his will, and on the other hand they were encouraged to trust in his mediation and advocacy.
3. The breadth of the Lord's promise deserves attention; When prayer is offered by those whom he describes, and in the manner which he prescribes, there is no limitation set. The expressions "whatsoever" and "anything" indicate alike the vastness of the Lord's resources and the liberality of his heart.
II. THE ANSWER WHICH CHRIST PROMISES.
1. It proceeds from himself. "I will do it," says the Master. In making this declaration our Lord asserts his own Deity - makes himself "equal with God," who alone hears and answers prayer. Wonderful indeed is such language, as coming from One who was about to be betrayed and crucified.
2. It corresponds with the petition. The very thing which the Christian desires, Christ promises to give. Such an assurance places all the resources of Omnipotence at the disposal of the lowliest disciple. It corresponds with the apostolic assertion, "All things are yours."
III. THE PURPOSE WHICH CHRIST CONTEMPLATES. The ultimate end of Christian privileges and Divine blessings is to be sought in God himself; and such an end affords to the soul a full and final satisfaction. When Christ's people receive the supply of all their need, through the advocacy of the Redeemer whom the Father has appointed, that Father's wisdom and benevolence are seen in the brightest light. It raises our conception of the dignity of prayer when we understand and feel that its effect is not merely upon ourselves, that its effect does not terminate here. There is an even higher purpose in this Divine arrangement that Christian petitions shall be answered; it is a revelation of the character and of the will of the eternal Father himself. - T.
Parallel VersesKJV: And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.