I. THE MAIN TOPIC TO WHICH JESUS TURNS IN THE SHADOW OF THE CROSS IS JOY.
A. "Their sorrow will be turned into joy."
B. "Your heart shall rejoice and your joy no man taketh from you."
C. He talks of their fullness of joy.
D. It is like the epistle of Paul to the Philippians written from his prison cell. The theme is the joy and rejoicing in Jesus.
E. Joy is a quality of the spirit. Happiness is a quality of the emotions. Happiness is a variable, whereas joy is a constant.
F. Happiness has to do with my relationship with things. Joy has to do with my relationship with God. Things can and do change, but God never changes.
II. HE THEN TURNS TO THE SUBJECT OF PRAYER.
A. "In that day you will ask Me nothing."
1. While He was with them on the earth, they were used to asking Him for many things.
2. The day is coming when they will no longer ask Him for things but will ask the Father in His name.
3. In chapter 14, He had said, "And whatsoever thing you ask the Father in My name, that will I do that the Father might be glorified in the Son. If you will ask anything in My name, I will do it.
4. Does this mean that our prayers are to be offered to God?
5. I believe so, we ask the Father in the name of His Son.
a. In the model prayer Jesus said pray, "Our Father which art in heaven."
b. In Acts 4
, the apostles prayed unto God saying, "O Lord, thou art God."
c. In Eph. 3:14
, Paul speaks of bowing his knees before the Father of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
d. In Eph. 5:20
, he speaks of giving thanks for all things unto God in the name of Jesus Christ.
e. In Col. 1:3
, he said, "We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord, Jesus Christ, praying always for you."
f. In Col.3:17
, he speaks of giving thanks unto God and the Father by Him.
6. Does that mean that we are not to pray to Jesus, or to the Holy Spirit?
a. I do not believe that we can be legalistic in this at all.
b. It would seem that Stephen, as he was being stoned prayed to Jesus, as he said, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit."
c. But it must be acknowledged that for the most part the New Testament follows that pattern that Jesus set, and that prayers were offered to the Father.
B. He gives a very broad promise, "Whatsoever you shall ask the Father, in My name, He will give it you."
1. This is where many people take off in heretical beliefs about prayer.
a. The purpose of prayer is not to accomplish my will on earth. It is not to satisfy my every lust or wish.
b. "Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, even as it is in heaven." That is the real thrust of prayer.
2. It should be noted that Jesus is not talking here to the multitudes, He is talking to a close group who have as Peter declared, given up all to follow Jesus.
a. Jesus had said, "If any man will come after Me, let Him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me."
b. That is what they had done, and it is to this group that Jesus is speaking.
c. If you have truly denied yourself, then you will not be asking for things to consume upon your own lusts.
d. Jesus lived a life of simplicity. He did not wear designer clothes and have so much money in the purse that Judas could be pilfering from it without it being noticed, as some heretical faith evangelists declare to justify their Rolex watches, and Rolls Royce cars.
3. James declared that there were some that asked and received not because they asked amiss, "that they might consume it on their own lusts."
C. "Up till now, you have asked nothing in My name, ask (please ask) and you shall receive, that your joy may be full."
1. During the Old Testament period the way to God was through the sacrifices.
2. Sin has always been a barrier separating God from man, "God's hand is not short, that He cannot save, neither is His ear heavy that He cannot hear, but your sins have separated you from your God."
3. This separation was manifested by the veil that separated the holy place from the Holy of Holies, that only the high priest was allowed to enter, and that only once a year after many washings and sacrifices.
4. When Jesus was crucified we read that the veil of the temple was torn from the top to the bottom. Man did not remove the veil, that would have been from the bottom to the top, but God removed the veil.
5. Now through Jesus Christ we have access to the Father.
a. No wonder Jesus said that He hated the deeds of the Nicolaitanes which seemed to be the establishing of a mediating priesthood over the laity.
b. This is exactly what was abolished through His work on the cross.
6. Asking in His name.
a. Peter said to the lame man, "In the name of Jesus Christ, rise up and walk."
b. Later when asked by what power this man was walking, Peter said, "By the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth does this man stand here before you whole."
c. Later they prayed that God would stretch forth His hand to heal and the signs and wonders would be done in the name of the holy child Jesus.
d. In Acts 16
, when Paul met the girl possessed with a evil spirit, he commanded the spirit "In the name of Jesus Christ come out of her."
7. Fullness of joy is related to our keeping His commandments and abiding in His love. 15:10,11. Here it is associated with prayer, and in I John 1
it is associated with our fellowship with one another and with Him.