Lenten Reflections

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John 16:23-33

March 19, 2024
John 16:23-33

23 In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. 24 Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.

25 “I have said these things to you in figures of speech. The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures of speech but will tell you plainly about the Father. 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; 27 for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. 28 I came from the Father and have come into the world, and now I am leaving the world and going to the Father.”

29 His disciples said, “Ah, now you are speaking plainly and not using figurative speech! 30 Now we know that you know all things and do not need anyone to question you; this is why we believe that you came from God.” 31 Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe?  32 Behold, the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me. 33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”


Jesus will go to the Father and send the Spirit, which will open up the closest possible intimacy between us and God. Jesus gives us direct access to the Father. There is no need for any other mediator or go-between. The Father loves us, and therefore, if we pray in Jesus’ name, meaning if we pray with the assurance that we belong to Jesus and he has blazed a trail right into the very heart of God, then the Father will grant whatever we ask so that our joy might be full. Some worry that such a promise could lead to abuse, and we might take advantage of this privilege for our own selfless ends. But no, the Father can promise to give us whatever we ask because he makes that promise to those who share his heart.

Of course, for Jesus and the disciples, there was still much pain and uncertainty that had to be endured before all these great benefits of Jesus’ work could become realized. Jesus frankly informs his disciples that they will abandon him and scatter at the first sign of trouble. But Jesus is not worried because he knows the Father is always with him. Despite the approaching moment of disappointment, Jesus cheers his disciples with the news that he has already overcome the world. His victory over sin, evil and death is as good as done. If the disciples could take courage from that truth before it all came to pass, how much more can we?

How should Jesus’ words change the way we should approach the Father in prayer?