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Would you please explain John 14:13-14. We talked about it in Church today but nobody really explained it well.


John 14:13-14 And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it. (NKJV)

Most of the confusion with this verse comes from people want to use it as a prooftext which means they take it OUT OF CONTEXT to support some preconceived idea they have.

This verse is a favorite of the “name it and claim it” positive-confession teachers. Regardless of your opinion of positive confession, this verse HAS NOTHING TO with us personally and specifically today.

The confusion disappears when you realize that Christ is talking to and addressing HIS DISCIPLES who would go on after He was gone and establish the early church and finish the inspired Word.

Back in John 13:31, Jesus informs the future 12 Apostles that He would be leaving them soon. He goes on to comfort them with instruction and encouragement. He tells Peter of his upcoming denial. He comforts them by telling them about heaven and how He will return for them.

He answers Thomas. He answers Philip. He tells them how they will go on to do greater work than He did (in quantity, establishing the church, writing the New Testament, taking the Gospel to the Gentiles).

Then He builds their confidence by telling them “whatever you do or ask in my Name, I will honor it”. This was not some “secret key to spiritual power” or one of the “ten steps to kingdom success”.

As Christ’s personally chosen representatives to launch the church age, Jesus was imparting full power and authority to them by giving them His name to impart. In that time, to speak under the name of someone else meant to fully represent them in all ways.

Jesus was promising His disciples, whom He was about to leave, that while they were fulfilling their mission, He would do anything they asked Him to do while asking with the authority of His name, a blessing He personally imparted to them specifically.

So you see, to rip this verse out of Scripture, apply it to us today and proclaim that all we have to do is say “in Jesus name” (even sincerely) and Jesus will “grant our wish” is simply perpetuating this “Genie In a Bottle” mentality that is so prevalent today. The vast majority of verses empployed in the “prosperity” doctrine are clear examples of prooftexting. In fact, the overwhelming majority of pet doctrines, doctrinal confusion and “fad doctrines” are derived by gross prooftexting. Sadly, much teaching today is the product of prooftexting (“here’s what I believe; let me find some Bible verses that seem to support it”).

The opposite and correct teaching approach is “expository” (explaining the meaning of verses): find out what the Bible says, in context, then teach that regardless of our preconceived ideas.

This verse – John 14:13-14 – is not hard, nor confusing as long as we simply ask the questions that we need to ask FIRST about ALL Bible verses:

  • Who said it?
  • Who was it said to?
  • What did it mean to the original listeners?
  • How does it apply to us, if at all?