December 18, 2017

In Jesus’ Name

George Stiekes

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask IN MY NAME, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask anything in My name, I will do it. John 14:13-14

In the text, Jesus is revealing to the disciples why His departure is to their benefit. There are many incredible things that will take place between His departure and His return and one of them Jesus refers to as “GREATER WORKS” (John 14:12). The church is one of those works (and, I probably should add, the true church, the one still holding to the truths of God’s Word). It is sad that this needs to be stated because there are so many churches that claim to be Christian churches, but the truths of God’s Word are no longer taught or preached.

Jesus was teaching His disciples that their ministry would be a continuation of His after He was ascended into Heaven. Jesus raised the dead, cast demons out of possessed people, made the blind to see and so many more miracles. How could there be anything greater?

Peter discovered what was greater after preaching on the day of Pentecost. There were three thousand souls converted and baptized following the preaching of God’s Word. There were more genuine followers on that day than in all of the ministry of Jesus when He was upon the earth.

But we must notice that Jesus connects John 14:13 & 14 to verse 12. The doing of the greater works is directly related to prayer. Prior to events of Acts 2, the Holy Spirit coming, the converts and the baptisms, Acts 1 records that the saints were gathered in one accord to PRAY (Acts 1:14). They had just seen Jesus ascend into glory. We can be certain that they prayed in Jesus’ name. Prior to the Cross, Jesus instructed them on how to pray. To their prayers, Jesus added the phrase, IN MY NAME, and this was a totally new concept to the disciples. This concept was given again in John 14:26, 15:16, 16:23, 24, and 26.

Praying in Jesus’ name is not some secret formula or an add on tag at the end of our prayers. However, the name does represent the very essence of the person. It is like using their good name.

Using the name of Jesus refers to His character, personality, credibility, reputation, authority and deity. It is interesting in both verses of our text that it does not say, “the Father will do it,” but rather, I will do it! It is assumed that our prayers are addressed to God the Father. “The Father denies nothing to the Son, and a request made in the Son’s name is treated as if the Son made it” (F. F. Bruce, The Gospel and Epistles of John, p. 301).

The goal in praying in His name is that we are praying on His behalf. This would indicate that we are making requests according to His will which when answered will glorify God the Father. If we would truly pray this way all of the time, it would eliminate a lot of selfish praying and would be an indicator of our love for Him.

It is important to recognize that only Christians can pray this way. “Whatsoever YE shall ask,” refers directly to the disciples and those who would follow them in faith. The contextual link to verse 12 reveals that this applies only to those who believe on Christ. There is no place in the Bible where it is stated that God will hear and answer the prayer of non-Christians, though there are times that He may do so, particularly when they call out in belief to be born again.

An obvious truth that comes out of this is the fact that Jesus is THE ONLY NAME that is to be used to approach God. We must be careful not to come in no other name outside of Jesus Christ, including our own, which we do when try to gain something from Him based on our own merits. It is a very serious thing to think that we can get what we want from the Lord based on our good works or just by adding His name to the end of our prayers.

Thank God today for the privilege of communing with Him in prayer. Thank Him for His faithfulness in hearing and answering our prayers. Seek spiritual wisdom that you may be able to discern His will in His Word and in prayer. Then pray according to His will.

George Stiekes held successful pastorates in churches in Michigan and Washington among other places. He currently resides in North Carolina and blogs at Reverent Reflections. We recommend his ministry and republish his material by permission.

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