14.02.16 Jn. 14:8-14
PHILIP WANTS TO SEE THE FATHER
8 “Lord,” said Philip, “show us the Father, and that’s enough for us.”
9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been among you all this time without your knowing Me, Philip? The one who has seen Me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me? The words I speak to you I do not speak on My own. The Father who lives in Me does His works. 11 Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me. Otherwise, believe because of the works themselves.
12 “I assure you:
The one who believes in Me will also do the works that I do. and he will do even greater works than these, because I am going to the Father.
13 Whatever you ask in My name, I will do it so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
14 If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.
“The one who believes in Me.” Another rendering of this phrase is “Anyone who has faith in Me.” The English words believes and faith are both translated from the Greek term pisteuo, meaning complete faith, trust, and belief. None of these terms carry the modern idea of an “opinion” as is often associated with believe today, but rather, the Greek word affirms a solid and secure knowledge and trust. It is not the quantity of faith, but the quality of faith. With that as a foundation, Jesus used these expressions to emphasize what could be done in His Name:
- A mountain could be tossed into the sea (Mk. 11:22-23)
- A mulberry tree could be tossed into the sea (Lk. 17:5-6). Unfortunately, faith is often quantified, meaning that if one had more faith as in Luke 17:5, then God would respond. Neither the disciples nor anyone else can acquire faith, as in “faith dollars,” and then spend those “faith dollars” for whatever is desired. The passage of John 14:8-14 assumes that one understands God’s will and desire and expects God to respond in His time and His way.
- Anyone will be able to perform greater miracles than what He did (Jn. 14:12)
“Whatever you ask in My name, I will do it.” The context of this phrase is that the believer is completely engulfed in the will (desire) of the Father and, therefore, will ask only in accordance with the divine will of God. Furthermore, the previous statement, “so that the Father may be glorified in the Son,” is the central focus of the speech, as illustrated on the central line when written in the style of Hebrew poetry. Obviously, not all of our prayers will be answered, but only those prayed in His Name.
Jesus prayed this as He was facing the agony of the cross. He was deeply and painfully concerned about a humanity choosing the road to Hell. Compare that request with the typical prayer, that modern Christians would ask for various comforts of life with little concern about the lost, the dying, the sick, the broken hearted, and the other casualties of life. This is not to say that God has no interest in the welfare of His believers, but there clearly is a disproportionate concern for materialism over the real eternal issues of life.
Note carefully the two parts of His message.
- These are directed only to believers: those who have repented from their old lifestyle and are living a life directed by Scripture and with the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
- The context indicates the believer will ask according to the will and desire of the Father. This means that, like the phrase in our Lord’s Prayer, the believer’s request is identical to the desire of the heavenly Father.
This passage affirms that believers are to pray to God by the authority of Jesus Christ. Once one has accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior and lives a lifestyle that emulates Jesus as our Lord of their life, that person’s life has come under His authority. Therefore, prayers that end with the phrase, “in the name of Jesus,” will be meaningful and authentic; these reflect the believer’s faith and authority as one who is in covenant with Jesus. To pray “in the name of Jesus” is not a formula or magical phrase for any desire.
The Lord will respond according to His desires, which may or may not always be the same as the believers’ (see 2 Cor. 12:8 concerning Paul and his thorn). It is imperative that the believer is fully committed to Christ and Christ is in him (Jn. 15:1-8). Only then will the petitioner pray a prayer in the will and desires of God, which He can answer.
. New International Version (1984) translation.
. Barclay, “John.” 2:165-66.