Astonishingly, a total of three times within the space of two consecutive chapters of John we read this incredible promise made by Jesus Christ to his disciples. He was therefore entirely committed to fulfilling this promise. What exactly did Jesus mean by this promise?
“Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they 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. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” John 14:11-14
“If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” John 15:7-8
“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
The context of these promises is most revealing. The context has to do with doing the works that Jesus did as evidence that he is one with the Father—the very Son of God. The context requires that the words and commands of Jesus remain in us, resulting in our bearing much fruit—not just any fruit, but fruit that will last.
If the purpose of our lives is focused on this, Jesus solemnly promises to do whatever we ask in his name. What we ask of him will not be for satisfying our earthly desires, but rather so that the Father will be glorified through us as we bear fruit that will last.
The immediate context of “and I will do whatever you ask in my name”
We have all read this wonderful promise made by our Lord Jesus Christ in John 14:13-14. What does it really mean? Let’s look at the context from earlier in Chapter 14.
John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. …11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. 12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 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.
In verse 11 Jesus speaks of the extraordinary miraculous works that he did as compelling evidence that he is in fact in the Father and the Father is in him—that is, he is the promised Messiah. In the gospels these works consisted primarily of healing the sick and casting out demons.
Then in verse 12 he solemnly promises—“very truly I tell you”—that believers will do those same miraculous works. This promise is hard to understand, much less believe. Yet we all agree that the Son of God will of course without question keep his promise to us. What must we do for his extraordinary promise to be fulfilled?
We must fervently pray in his name that believers will be enabled to do the miraculous works that he did—for missions to be accelerated during these Last Days for the Great Commission to be fulfilled—leading to the return of Jesus Christ. And he promised us: “I will do it.”
And then we must carry it out. We must train believers to do the works exactly as the gospels record Jesus healing the sick and casting out demons as evidence that he is the Messiah.
That is exactly the calling of The Elijah Challenge during these Last Days.