What exactly did Jesus mean by this extraordinary promise repeated twice in John 15?
John 15:7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
…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.
It begins with remaining in Jesus and his words remaining in us—meaning obeying his commands out of our abiding personal relationship with him. When we obey his commands, we can begin to bear fruit for him—but it must be fruit that lasts. To bear fruit that lasts, we must take care to use the right “building materials” in serving and obeying him.
1 Corinthians 3:12 If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13 their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. 14 If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. 15 If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames.
If what we have built for the Lord survives—if our fruit lasts—then whatever we ask in Jesus’ name the Father will give us. And what we will ask?
We will not ask for earthly riches or fame. Like Solomon we will not ask for long life or the death of our enemies. Rather we will ask that he enable and use us to bear even more fruit, showing ourselves to be his disciples.
Matthew 6:33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.