Friday, January 13, 2012


Whatever you ask in My name I will do it that the Father may be glorified. John 14:13 (abridged)

Before He went away, Jesus gave the astounding promise that we could ask anything we wanted—anything—in His name and He would do it. He even told us why He would grant our desires; because doing so would glorify the Father.

I know very few Christians who have not puzzled over this verse and some have fallen as they claimed what they believe to be a clear promise from Jesus, yet did not receive the thing they asked. I certainly don’t have the complete answers to this mystery, but a small light began to glimmer when I read the verse using a different name for God.

Jesus said, “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father.” Looking at Jesus—knowing how He acted, what He said and how He felt—showed humanity the unseen God. It was probably the clearest picture of the Father He could give, but it wasn’t the only one. He also said “God is Spirit” [1] and later His closest earthly friend taught us, “God is love.” [2] All of these words and examples help us wrap our mind around a Being who is in truth beyond comprehension.

I don’t think we stretch the meaning of this verse too far when we insert other scriptural words for “Father.” Although the technique is not without limitation, the Father is God, and God is love. For better understanding, the verse might be read, Whatever you ask,…I will do it that Ultimate Love may be glorified.

How could prayer— especially “unanswered” prayer—glorify (exalt, lift up) Love? The scenarios are not as difficult to imagine as one might think.

We show (lift up) love’s patience [3] when we don’t immediately receive what we ask but keep believing. We experience love’s humility [3] when we ask rather than demand and leave the final decision to our God. We demonstrate the selfless nature of love when we allow His choice to be first [4] and love’s trust is displayed to angels, our own heart, and a doubting world [5] when we refuse to accuse God of being unfair [4] simply because we don’t understand.

John began his memories of Jesus’ last hours by saying, “Having love His own who were in the world, He [Jesus] loved them to the end.” [6] Love was the reason for Calvary [7] and ultimate, pure, perfect love is a reflection of the nature of God. When Jesus answers our requests, yes, God’s love for us is glorified (exalted, lifted up) and when He answers our requests, no or wait, our love for God is shown to a skeptical world.

[1] John 4:24; [2] I John 4:8; [3] I Corinthians 13:4; [4] I Corinthians 13:5; [5] I Corinthians 4:9; [6] John 13:1; [7] John 3:16

No comments:

Post a Comment