What does John 16:24 mean?
ESV: Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.
NIV: Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.
NASB: Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full.
CSB: Until now you have asked for nothing in my name. Ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete.
NLT: You haven’t done this before. Ask, using my name, and you will receive, and you will have abundant joy.
KJV: Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.
Verse Commentary:
This is part of a conversation Jesus has on the night of His arrest (John 13:1–5; 18:1–3). Prior to this moment, He has given His followers instructions on how to pray, including the well-known formula often referred to as "The Lord's Prayer" (Matthew 6:9–13). Until this night, in this conversation (John 14:13–14; 15:16), Jesus has not mentioned the idea of praying in His name, specifically.

This statement, from Jesus, officially endorses the idea of praying in His name: evoking His authority and His will in making requests known to God. That doesn't suggest God automatically grants every demand attached to the phrase "in the name of Jesus." Jesus makes this promise to those who pray "in" His name, not merely those who "use" His name. To pray "in" the name of Christ means doing so in harmony with His will and His nature. Not everything we want is what God wants for us. A major component of faith is recognizing that He sees and knows more than we do and has our eternally-best interests at heart (Matthew 7:9–11).

Christ encourages His followers to seek God, by making requests and desires known to God. This echoes His teaching from the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 7:7–8). Within that same context, those who sincerely seek the will of God will experience the intense joy of faith (John 16:22; Acts 13:52).
Verse Context:
John 16:16–24 once again reminds the disciples that Christ must suffer and die for the sins of the world (Mark 8:31). The days ahead will be especially dark and frightening for those who so closely followed Jesus. Yet the outcome will be powerful and world changing. Jesus explains this using the analogy of childbirth. The process of giving birth is painful—but the reward is immeasurably valuable. Afterwards, joy over the new birth far outweighs memories of the painful birth process.
Chapter Summary:
Throughout His teaching in the Last Supper (John 13:1–5), Jesus has often brought up the fact that He's giving His followers advance warnings (John 13:19; 14:25). His intent is to provide encouragement—persecution as a result of their faith is inevitable. In keeping with that reassurance, Jesus again promises the coming of the Holy Spirit. He explains that after a time of deep sorrow, His followers will experience great joy and clarity. This concludes with a beloved promise that Christ has "overcome the world."
Chapter Context:
This completes the teaching portion of Jesus' words during the Last Supper, begun in chapter 13. Christ echoes many of the themes of His earthly ministry. His focus is especially on encouragement: reminding the disciples that the hard times they will experience will end in victory. While they don't clearly understand, the Holy Spirit will lead them in the right direction. This ends with Christ's beloved declaration that He has "overcome the world." That introduces the record of Jesus' High Priestly Prayer in chapter 17, immediately before His arrest early in chapter 18.
Book Summary:
The gospel of John was written by the disciple John, decades later than the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. The author assumes that a reader is already familiar with the content of these other works. So, John presents a different perspective, with a greater emphasis on meaning. John uses seven miracles—which he calls “signs”—in order to prove that Jesus is, in fact, God incarnate. Some of the most well-known verses in all of the Bible are found here. None is more famous than the one-sentence summary of the gospel found in John 3:16.
Accessed 4/16/2024 12:13:13 AM
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