“I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it.” (John 14:13-14)
In John 14:6, Jesus said: “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” Philip could not grasp the full weight of this statement so he asked: “Lord, show us to the Father, and we shall be satisfied.” In response, Jesus said to Philip: “Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father in me?”
The doctrine of the Trinity; three persons in one God remains to this day a mystery. There is just no way to fully explain how we serve only God who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit at the same time. When we speak of Jesus Christ as Son, there is a tendency for us to make the mistake of assuming that since Jesus is Son, He must be somehow less than the Father but this is impossible as it is just One God.
In today’s Gospel passage, Jesus says to us twice: “Whatever you ask in my name, I will do it… if you ask anything in my name, I will do it…” In saying “I will do it,” Jesus is telling us that He is both God and mediator at the same time.
St. Paul will throw more light on this when he said: “at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord” (Philippians 2:9-11). This is why we end our prayers with “through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
You might ask, why not “in Jesus’ Name?” Simple answer: There are persons who answer the name “Jesus” but there is only one “Jesus Christ.” It is important that we pray “through Jesus Christ, our Lord” that it will be clear that we are praying to God the Son and not someone who may be answering the name Jesus.
In today’s first reading, Paul meets with stiff opposition from some jealous Jews and this paved way for Paul to direct his attention to the Gentiles. A few days ago, we read of how Peter saw a trance when God symbolically told him to minister to Gentiles as well. Peter obeyed and was surprised to see that the Holy Spirit came upon the so-called as well.
Dear friends, if we who claim to know God engage in fighting ourselves as the Jews fought Paul and Barnabas, the Gospel will go to others more deserving of it.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, increase my faith in the power of your name. Amen
Bible Study: Acts 13:44-52, Psalm 98 and John 14:7-14