January 17, 2024

January 17, 2024

Author: Pastor Gordon Cook
January 17, 2024

John 13, 14, 15, 16

Turn to John chapter 13, we're going to read sections from that upper room discourse, John 13 right through 16. We are not going to read all those chapters. These are the last words of Jesus Christ to his friends before he goes out in the night to Gethsemane and then he will be taken to Golgotha where he will die for us as sinners. But the Sermon on the Mount and the upper room discourse are the longest words spoken by Jesus and in both places he speaks about prayer. John gives us Jesus’ longest prayer, the longest prayer we have spoken by Jesus is found in John 17. But he also teaches us about praying, how we ought to pray. At least three times he points us to this matter of prayer and each time he seeks to give us confidence and assurance that God will answer our prayers. Let me start with John 14:13, the upper room discourse, “Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do. And the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in my name, I will do it.” So right there you have twice, “Whatever you ask in my name, I will do it.”

Turn over to chapter 15, he again, brings out this same emphasis that God will answer our prayer. John 15:16, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give it to you.” Then turn over to the next chapter. So we see in John 14, John 15 and again in John 16 he is assuring us that God hears and will answer our prayers. John 16:26, “In that day, you will ask in my name and I do not say to you that I will ask the Father on your behalf for the Father loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God.”

So now if I ask you this question, what distinguishes Christian praying from all other religions? I mean, what distinguishes our praying from the Hindus, from the Muslims and from every other religion in the world? I think the big thing would be that we pray Trinitarian prayers. We go to God our Father. Jesus taught us to do that in that Sermon on the Mount and we also end our prayers, “In the name of Jesus.” So we begin our prayers, “Our Father” and we end our prayers “In the name of Jesus.” And someone has said those three words, “In His name” are the most important words in our prayers. Again, a four- peat emphasis in John chapter 14 twice, again in John 15 and John 16.

Now what does that mean? Why should we pray? What does it mean to pray “In the name of Jesus?” Well we certainly don't want to just say those words and mumble them without giving thought as to why we are speaking them. They are not filler, they are not tack on, this is not some magic spell. And I would say this, the name captures everything that Jesus is, everything that Jesus did and will continue to do. Think of that, the name captures everything that Jesus is, everything that Jesus did and continues to do. Think of the very first time we hear the name Jesus in the Bible. Go right back to Matthew chapter 1, “They shall call his name Jesus, for he shall save his people from their sins.” So the name Jesus is a salvific name, he came to save. The name Jesus takes us to the cross. We hear that again in Acts 4, “There is no salvation and any other name under heaven given among men by which we may be saved”; no other name but Jesus, that's the only name by which men and women can be saved.

So it speaks of his great mission in life, why he came, he came to save. But his name also speaks of his divine nature. Again Matthew 1:21, “They shall call his name Emanuel, God with us.” So his name speaks of Mission to Save, what he will do for us on the cross. His name speaks of his divine nature.

The third thing we can say, if you look back at John 16, his name also speaks of reward and blessing. Look at John 16:23, “Truly, truly I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. Ask and you will receive that your joy may be full.” When we pray in the name of Jesus we should be reminded of Jesus’ salvation, why he came into this world. It should remind us of who Jesus is; he is God, eternal, everlasting God. But something else we should think of when we pray in His name, we should think of his love, his electing love. Again, go back to the discourse, Jesus says, “You did not choose me, but I chose you.” He's talking about electing love, “I chose you.” Then he goes on to say this in 15:16, “So whatever you ask, I chose you, you were chosen in love, so whatever you ask the Father in my name He will give it to you.” In the upper room, the word love is used 30 plus times. He wants us to know God loves us and that he loves us. So when we use the name of Jesus, we should be thinking of his love.

And then the fourth thing I would say this, this is something I never thought of before until I saw some of the verses in Romans, but this is the other thing we should think of when we pray in the name of Jesus. When we say, “In the name of Jesus”, we should be thinking of the lost world. If you go to Romans it's interesting how many times Paul picks up the word ‘name’. Listen to what he says in Romans 1:5, “For the sake of his name among all the nations.” Romans 9:17, “That my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” Romans 15:9, “Therefore I praise you that among the Gentiles and sing to your name.” And then Romans 10:13, “For everyone who calls on the name of Jesus or on the Lord will be saved.”

So when we think of the name of Jesus, we should think of a world that needs Jesus, the world that has not believed on Jesus, the great commission. We are to baptize them “In the name” of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. So when you pray and we give these words at the back end of our prayer, “In the name of Jesus,” remember what we're thinking. We should be thinking of why he came, what he came to do, who he is, he's God, and we should not forget his love, reward and the perishing world that people need Jesus. As we go to prayer, we go to our Father, but we also go in the name of Jesus. That's the only way we can go to the Father, by access of Jesus Christ.