July 17

Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. John 14:13

What does Christ mean when he says, “I will do whatever you ask in my name”?  I would think he should say, “What you ask the Father in my name, he will do.”  But Christ is pointing to himself in this passage.  These are peculiar words coming from a human being.  How can a mere man make such lofty claims?  With these simple words, Christ clearly states that he is the true and almighty God, equal with the Father.  For whoever says, “Whatever you ask, I will do,” is saying, “I am God, who can and will give you everything.”  Why else should Christians pray in Jesus’ name?

Why do people call on saints as helpers in times of need—Saint George for protection in war, Saint Sebastian for protection from pestilence, and on others for other circumstances—unless they believe that these saints will answer their prayers?  But Christ claims this role for himself.  In other words, he is saying, “I won’t command others to do whatever you ask for.  I will do it myself.”  So he is the one who can help in ever situation with what we need.  He is mightier than the devil, sin, death, the world, and all creation.

No being—whether human or angelic—has ever had or ever will have such power.  Christ possesses all of God’s power and strength.  Here Christ sums up what we can ask him for in prayer.  He doesn’t limit his promise by adding, “That is, only if you ask for gold and silver or for something that other people can give you.”  Rather, he says that the will do “whatever you ask.”

Martin Luther: Bondage of the Will

The Bondage of the Will, Luther’s exposition on the doctrine of God’s sovereignty, laid the groundwork for Reformation thought. It shows us a humbling view of ourselves while strengthening our faith in Christ.

The Ambassador Classics series brings the greatest classic works of Christian history into a single set. It includes unabridged works by Martin Luther, John Bunyan, John Calvin, A. T. Pierson, John Owens, C. H. Spurgeon, Jonathan Edwards, J. C. Ryle, R. A. Torrey and many others. This series will continue to enrich and deepen your faith in Christ.

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