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He Will Ask, He Will Keep

What a blessing it is to have in our hands today, a transcript of Jesus' words to His disciples and His prayer that we see in the gospel of John. From the last supper on, Jesus has some incredible words and promises to share with His apostles and those who would believe in Him through their word. He even gives them a new commandment that they love one another even as He has loved them, that they love one another (John 13:34).  All for the purpose and outcome that by that love one for another, all men would know that they are His disciples, if they have love one for another. 

In John 14:15, Jesus says, "If you love me, you will keep My commandments.”  The next and first word in verse 16, should be, “And, I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever." If we ask, He does, if we do, He asks. His action is the answer to our prayers, and His prayers are the answer to our obedient action. The word ask in verse 16, is not the same greek word as we see when Jesus is speaking in the words of others asking, but only when He is asking. And it is only used when Jesus asks, and is only used in the Gospel of John. When we ask, the word conveys the idea of  asking as a beggar or pauper. His asking differs from others asking in that it is the petition of One who is on perfect equality with the person to Who it is presented. The thought has within it the idea of perfect fellowship.

The great expositor Alexander MacLaren says, "He puts it as it were, the Father's act in pledge to us, and assures us, in a tone of certainty, which is not merely the assurance of faith, but the certainty of One, is One with the Father, that His prayer brings ever it's answer." We can be assured that Christ's prayers, that are always in line with the Father's will, are but promises and prophesies. 

As His teaching and instruction come to a conclusion at the end of chapter 16, chapter 17 brings on Christ's high priestly prayer for Himself, His apostles, and His Church. In verse 15, we see that Christ asks the Father to keep them from evil, or the evil one. To show the force and Omnipotence behind this greek word for keep, it is much more than keeping an eye on the kids while they are playing outside. It has the concept of keep watch over or keep guard over, but also to keep in custody, to preserve or reserve, to keep one in the state he is. We can surely conclude that His prayer to keep them guarantees their protection! 

To finish, the fulfillment of that, "keeping from the evil one,” hinges on the disciple keeping himself in touch with Jesus, whereby the great virtue of His prayer will encompass him and keep him safe. MacLaren says, "If we laid to heart the blessed revelations of this disclosure of Christ's heart, and followed Him with faithful gaze as He ascends to the Father, and realized our share in that triumph, our empty vessels would be filled by some of that same joy which was His. Earthly joy can never be full, Christian joy should never be anything less than full." Keep fixing your gaze on that permanent, sure, never-failing, lasting, yes, everlasting portion which is ours in Christ.

Elder Randy Slak