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During the reading of John 16:24, I came in contact with something quite "strange", why does Rabbi Yeshua (who is Jesus Christ) speaks?

24 Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.

Who "has asked?" and why in that moment, would people ask the right way and have joy, and what joy is it exactly that they would be full of?

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  • They were to pray to the Father and ask in Jesus' name. Commented May 7, 2022 at 12:01
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    Note the exact phrase ἵνα ἡ χαρὰ ... ᾖ πεπληρωμένη occurs only in John 16:24, 1John 1:4, and 2 John 12 in the New Testament. In John 15:11 πληρωθῇ is aorist passive subjunctive instead of the subjunctive paraphrastic with the perfect passive participle.
    – Perry Webb
    Commented May 7, 2022 at 13:32
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    The term 'Christ' means 'messiah'/'anointed'. It does not mean 'rabbi'.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Oct 27, 2023 at 15:37

4 Answers 4

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During the last supper and before Jesus was arrested, Jesus repeatedly told His disciples, they could ask anything in Jesus name. They were the "who".

13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. (John 14:13-14 NIV)

16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. (John 15:16 NIV)

24 Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete. 25 “Though I have been speaking figuratively, a time is coming when I will no longer use this kind of language but will tell you plainly about my Father. 26 In that day you will ask in my name. I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf. 27 No, the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. (John 16:24-27 NIV)

Jesus explained why they should ask in His name. In John 14:13, Jesus said," And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son". However, this does not mean that Jesus will do whatever they ask unconditionally. There is a condition: "the Father may be glorified". Jesus further told them there is a helper, who live with them and will be in them (John 14:17), whom Jesus called;

  • an advocate (John 14:16, 15:26, 16:7 NIV)

  • the Spirit of truth (John 14:17, 15:26, 16:13 NIV)

  • the Holy Spirit (John 14:26, 16:15 NIV)

It is the Spirit guided them to ask the right thing, and surely Jesus would grant for what they asked.

What is the "Joy"? Jesus used a metaphor to explain it;

A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. (John 16:21 NIV)

The woman represents the Church and her baby represents the Christian. The 'Joy' is when lost souls are found which has been described in several parables; The Parable of the Lost Sheep; the parable of the Lost Coin and the parable of the prodigal son.

These eleven disciples were going to continue what Jesus left them to do, established His Church, and "they will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8 NIV)

Their joy would be complete as they fulfilled their mission on earth.

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1 - The 'who' were, initially, the eleven apostles left with Jesus in the upper room the night before he died, after the twelfth apostle had departed to betray Jesus. This is ascertained from John 13:30, and reading right through to the end of chapter 17 (to show that the long address given to them by Jesus was uninterrupted.)

2 - The 'joy' is referenced because if they enter into the new closeness of prayer that he urges them to begin, they will experience new, deeper joy than ever they had known with him before. Up till then, they had never prayerfully asked God for anything in Jesus' name, but on the brink of Christ bringing in the new covenant in his shed blood, a new and living way was to begin, based on saving faith in Christ (Hebrews 10:20).

But these instructions were not to be confined to those 11 apostles. This is proven by reading points in the books of Acts, after Christ had been resurrected and returned to heaven, causing the Holy Spirit to be poured out on all Christians on the Day of Pentecost. The classic example of praying to Jesus in Jesus' name (or, with his authority) happened via a disciple who had not been present in that upper room or in Gethsemane. This was Stephen, who was "full of faith and power, [and] did great wonders and miracles among the people" (Acts 6:8). Falsely accused, and after his scriptural defense, the account says:

"But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing on the right hand of God... And cast him out of the city, and stoned Stephen calling upon God and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge." Acts 7:55-60 A.V.

He was given a vision of God, yet chose to address the risen Christ who was seen standing at the right hand of God, and God blessed that prayer to Christ (e.g. Hebrews 11:37). The apostle John was also given a vision of God on his heavenly throne, this time with the Lamb standing in the midst of that throne (Rev. 5:6-7).

Finally, for those who doubt the veracity of Christians being exhorted to pray to Jesus' in Jesus' name, just get the answer to this question: Will God the Father save anyone who refuses to pray to him?" The answer is, "No!"

Prayer to God is simultaneously the very least, and the very most Christians can do when it comes to being saved (either personally or with regard to the as-yet-unsaved.) Jesus made it clear that nobody can come to the Father except through him, and the Father is the One who leads souls to Christ, as their Lord and Saviour. You cannot have one without the other. You cannot turn to Jesus, claiming to have saving faith in him, without the Father choosing to open your eyes and your heart to Heaven's Beloved One as the Saviour. Only after the Father has revealed the Son to you will you then put biblical faith in Christ, that what he did will save you.

Likewise, will God save anyone who refuses to pray to Christ the saviour in the name (authority of) Jesus' name? The answer is "No." After all, consider what Jesus said in John 12:44-50.

Then the power of praying to Jesus, in his name, opens up to the newly saved person. "There is salvation in no other name given under heaven" - other than the name of Jesus Christ. Faith in the name of Christ for salvation is the same as prayer to the Father in Jesus' name. (Acts 4:12, Phil. 2:9, Col. 3:17) That is now the new and living way of approach to the throne-room of heaven, where the Lamb is in the centre of God's throne, which has the seven-fold Spirit of God surrounding it, the Lamb also having the seven eyes of the Spirit. See Revelation 5:6-7 & 7:10.

That is why, once Christ opened up the way to God, and to Heaven, prayer to him, in his name, equates with prayer to the Father in Christ's name and brings joy beyond what Jesus' believers experienced while he still walked on Earth.

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  • Up-voted +1. I agree with the emphasis that 'asking' is a matter of prayer, as is the experience of salvation.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Oct 27, 2023 at 15:42
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Who?

Jesus is speaking here to 11 of the 12 apostles (Judas has already left).

Ask in my name

It is clear that the disciples have already learned to pray and to ask the Father for the things they need; but apparently they have not been praying in the name of Jesus Christ--He instructs them to do so.

Joy

Jesus promises ask and you will receive, which is in part an answer to why they will have joy. But Jesus also identifies, in the same sermon, other reasons for which His followers will have joy:

  • They will see Him again (see verse 22)
  • The work & the people of Christ will ultimately overcome the world

He's warning the disciples of the sorrow they will experience, and instructing them to trust Him and to pray in His name. He is ensuring they realize the temporary sorrow they will experience here lies along a path to something far better beyond this world:

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)

Joy in the fullest sense in which Christ offers it is not a feature of this world. Indeed, as He told Pilate the following day, my kingdom is not of this world. Jesus has something far more lasting in mind.

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This is the second time Jesus has told the disciples to pray in Jesus' name. Note the two instances:

  • John 14:12-14 - Truly, truly, I tell you, whoever believes in Me will also do the works that I am doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in My name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me for anything in My name, I will do it.
  • John 16:23, 24 - In that day you will no longer ask Me anything. Truly, truly, I tell you, whatever you ask the Father in My name, He will give you. Until now you have not asked for anything in My name. Ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete.

There are two matters that we should observe here:

1. Prayers to Jesus

Jesus instructs people to pray to Him (Lord Jesus) which is what we observe in the remainder of the NT. Here is a sample:

  • Acts 1:24, 25 - And they prayed, “Lord, You know everyone’s heart. Show us which of these two You have chosen to take up this ministry and apostleship, which Judas abandoned to go to his rightful place.”
  • Acts 7:59, 60 - While they were stoning him, Stephen appealed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Falling on his knees, he cried out in a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
  • Acts 9:5, 10-14 - “Who are You, Lord?” Saul asked. ... In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord spoke to him in a vision, “Ananias!” “Here I am, Lord,” he answered. ... But Ananias answered, “Lord, many people have told me about this man and all the harm he has done to Your saints in Jerusalem. And now he is here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on Your name.”
  • 1 Cor 1:2 - To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours
  • 1 Cor 16:22 - If anyone does not love the Lord, let him be under a curse. Come, O Lord!
  • 2 Cor 12:8, 9 - Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest on me.
  • 1 Tim 1:12 - I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, that He considered me faithful and appointed me to service.
  • 2 Thess 2:16, 17 - Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who by grace has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good word and deed.

2. What is the Joy?

The joy that Jesus is referring to in John 16:24 is explicitly defined in the previous few verses - the joy of seeing Jesus again!

John 16:19-22 - Aware that they wanted to question Him, Jesus said to them, “Are you asking one another why I said, ‘In a little while you will not see Me, and then after a little while you will see Me’? Truly, truly, I tell you, you will weep and wail while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. A woman has pain in childbirth because her time has come; but when she brings forth her child, she forgets her anguish because of her joy that a child has been born into the world. So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.

Jesus makes a similar statement in John 15:9-11 -

As the Father has loved Me, so have I loved you. Remain in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will remain in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and remain in His love. I have told you these things so that My joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.

Thus, Jesus offers two ways that the disciples' joy be complete -

  • Joy is completed/fulfilled by doing the Father's commandments (ie, will)
  • Joy is completed/fulfilled when we see Jesus return the second time. (Compare John 19:27.)

Note the comments of Ellicott concerning John 15:11 -

And that your joy might be full.—Comp. the words of the Intercessory Prayer in John 17:13, and the same phrase in John 3:29; John 16:24; 1 John 1:4; 2 John 1:12. The state of which He has spoken to them—the loving and being loved of God—is the ideal perfection of human life. It supplies satisfaction for all the deepest desires of our being. The capacities of the whole man are fulfilled in it, and the result is fullness of joy. They have learnt little of the true spirit of Christianity whose religion does not impart to them a joy which sheds its light over the whole of their lives.

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    It would be good to quote the Old Testment verses and jewish law to prove your point. Commented May 6, 2022 at 23:09
  • @JoãoVíctorMelo - I cannot quote the OT because Jesus is not explicitly mentioned in the OT. What sort of evidence do you want?
    – Dottard
    Commented May 6, 2022 at 23:11
  • Something as G'd would say in the prophets and in Torah around this, if G'd really needs to be invoked through a name. Commented May 7, 2022 at 12:03
  • @Dottard. They were to pray to the Father and ask in Jesus' name. No one prayed to Jesus. Philippians 4:6. Believers were advised to pray to God. Commented May 7, 2022 at 12:07
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    @AlexBalilo - that is true if you quote your selected texts. I have quote many others that showed that many prayed to Jesus. I do not believe in cafeteria theology where we choose only texts that we like. Are you suggesting the texts I quoted above are incorrect or should not be part of the NT?
    – Dottard
    Commented May 7, 2022 at 21:31

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