John, chapter fourteen to seventeen are the chapters contain the last teaching of our Lord Jesus before He was arrested and crucified. After our Lord Jesus Christ prophesied Peter’s denial, He said to His disciples “do not be troubled” (14:1), and according to His followed teaching, He brought very good news to His disciples, which includes the coming of the Holy Spirit, whom will be with the believers forever. Through out these wonderful teachings, Jesus Christ repeated several times the same verse “You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it” (14:14). In modern churches, many people love this verse very much, as they can ask whatever they want in their prayers, and put a “seal” at the end which is “in Jesus’ name I pray”. But I tell you, it is not right to do so. If we only pray for our own requests, it means we do not understand what prayer is, and we are seeing God just as Santa Claus.
In John chapter fifteen, our Lord calls Himself the true vine and we are the branches, so that we ought to obey His commandments and remain in His love. And then in verse twelve, our Lord said “My command is this: Love each other” Oh, how terrible this command is! It is impossible for me to love any one beyond myself, and this is my nature to do so. But wait, my friend, let’s keep going on, our Lord continued and said “as I have loved you.” Lord, how wonderful you are! You know we are weak and selfish, you know everything, I love you. Do you remember our Lord’s questions to Peter after His resurrection? Simon Peter, do you love me? Peter answered Christ three times, and we can imagine how upset Peter was, for he may even think this Christ whom he denied might have some punishments upon him for he denied Jesus three times. But the Lord said, “feed my sheep.” When the last time our Lord asked Peter, “Simon Peter, do you love me?” Peter was almost crying out, and said: “Yes, Lord, you know everything, yes, I love you.” If you are the Lord, what are you going to say to Peter? Are you sure you love me? Where were you when I was arrested? Where were you when I was before Pilate? Where were you when I was crucified? Thanks be to our Lord, for He knows everything. He knows even though we love Him, but we do not have the ability to love Him. Christians, listen! Now Christ is our friend, and we are His if we do what He commands. And Christ is the best friend we ever have, for He lay down His life for His friends. Oh, how beautiful that is! Brothers and sisters, what a privilege we have! We sinners and beggars now can be friend with the most holy and sovereign King! Who we are? Where this privilege come from? In Jesus Christ alone! Sinners, look upon the cross, this perfect Christ, who is son of man and son of God, died for us. How could we have crucified Him? How? But! He has loved His enemies, even unto death. Let me repeat myself, He has loved us, loved sinner. “The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.” (Matthew 27:51) Read your Old Testament, Christians, see how careful the high priest should be when he enters into the Holy of Holy to offer the sacrifice of atonement, but only because of Jesus Christ who was cursed and died on the cross, you are seen as righteous, be called the priests, and become friends of God. Where is your robe, O priest? O it is the blood, the righteousness of Jesus Christ given to those who do not deserve to be covered, which can be able to cover us, shelter us from the wrath of God, and make us lovely in His sight. This is what the Lord says to His people, “You did not choose me, but I chose you.”
Be fruitful and pray in Jesus’ name! Can a branch be fruitful without the vine? No. Certainly no. So does it to we Christians. Pray in Christ Jesus’ name alone. Ask and He will give, for His name’s sake. Amen.