Second, to ask for something in Jesus’ name is to say in effect, “Father, Jesus told me to ask for this.” Can I really say, “Father, Jesus wants you to give me a new BMW”? Maybe, but I doubt it. Key here is what Jesus says in 15:7, “If you abide in me….” We can only know what Jesus wants us to ask for if we are living right in him. They we can ask on Jesus’ behalf.
Third, if we really want to know the Father through Jesus, and we are living “in” Jesus, we truly can ask for “anything.” This is of course, Semitic hyperbole, an overstatement to get the point across. It is rather like Jesus’ statement that we cannot serve him unless we hate our parents. Of course, he does not mean that we should hate our parents, but that our commitment to him must be that much stronger than even the one to them.
So here, he does not mean that we can ask in his name to be instantly made a foot taller, and that it will happen. Rather, if we really want to know God and his truth, and Jesus is living and breathing through us, then “anything” that we ask in the context of that relationship is possible. But to use Jesus’ repeated statements here as a formula to get what we want from him, to consume it on our own desires (James 4:3), is not faith, but the worst sort of idolatry.
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