“You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” John 14:14 NIV
Dear Jesus, can You keep all of my family healthy, safe, and rich forever? In Your name, amen. We’ve all asked some doozies in His name, and we’ve all seen requests fall short of God’s to-do list. When God doesn’t keep the promises we’ve twisted His words into making, we’re left wondering if He’s really trustworthy. This phenomenon rises from the gaping difference between two fancy words: exegesis and eisogesis. You don’t have to remember these words, but you do need to remember what they’re about. Exegesis is about drawing His truth from Scripture and eisogesis is about adding your ideas into Scripture.
What do we want to add into John 14:14? We want to see a Jesus who’ll do whatever we ask Him when we have the right password. What truth waits to be drawn out? To find out, let’s look at who John was writing to, who Jesus was talking to, what else Scripture says, and what else was happening when Jesus said this.
Bible scholars aren’t positive who John was writing to, but they agree the book aims to make one of the Bible’s strongest argument’s for Jesus as God’s Son (John 20:31). We know Jesus was talking to His disciples—including John—at the Last Supper, not long before His death. Based on this audience and setting, we could guess at Jesus’ intentions, but John 14:1 NIV spells them out, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.” What else did Jesus say? In verse 13, Jesus told his disciples He will do what they ask, “… so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” What else was happening? The men Jesus was speaking to were about to see their leader killed, face great opposition, and then start the Christian Church from scratch.
Now, what truth can we draw out? John intended to show the deity of Christ. Jesus intended to comfort and inspire His disciples right before His death. And, there was a caveat: the Father should be glorified. Meaning, Jesus will do the things we ask for if they make God’s greatness known. So how do we ask this way? We must ask from right relationships (Mark 11:24-25, 1 Peter 3:7), with right motives (James 4:3, Proverbs 16:2), through right living (James 5:16, Proverbs 15:29), in good faith (James 1:6-7), according to His will (1 John 5:14-15). In short, if you think Jesus would put His name on it, and it will make His Father famous, then ask and believe! But remember, we’re here for Him—He’s not here for us.
Consider: When I ask, am I looking to make God famous, or make me comfortable?
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