John 16:16-24 A little while, and you shall not see me: and again, a little while, and you shall see me, because I go to the Father. Then said some of his disciples among themselves, What is this that he said unto us, A little while, and you shall not see me: and again, a little while, and you shall see me: and, Because I go to the Father? They said therefore, What is this that he said, A little while? we cannot tell what he said. Now Jesus knew that they were desirous to ask him, and said unto them, Do you enquire among yourselves of that I said, A little while, and you shall not see me: and again, a little while, and you shall see me? Verily, verily, I say unto you, That you shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and you shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy. A woman when she is in travail has sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remember no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world. And you now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man take from you. And in that day you shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever you shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. Hitherto have you asked nothing in my name: ask, and you shall receive, that your joy may be full.
‘A little while’ He was with them for one more day and then crucified, where He remained dead for 3 whole days. Then they saw Him for 40 more days and no more after that (Matt. 12:40; Acts 1:3, 11). As He said to the Jews (John 7:34; 8:21), He said unto the disciples: when He finally did go they couldn’t follow, but He will come back for them [and us] later (John 13:36; 14:1-3) at the time of the Rapture.
‘Because I go to the Father’ Three times Jesus said that He was not going to be there to continue His works, so He made full provision for believers to do them (John 14:12-17, 26; 15:7; Matt. 3:11; 17:20; Luke 11:13; 24:49; Acts 1:4-8; 38-39); He sends the Holy Spirit to take His place and convince the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment (16:8-11) and He was going to His Father, so the disciples will not be able to see Him until He comes again.
‘A woman when she is in travail has sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remember no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world.’ This is a literal illustration picturing the sorrow and joy of the disciples in His death and resurrection.
‘In that day’ the day when Jesus went back to the Father they shall ask Him nothing, but they shall ask the Father in Jesus name (John 14:1-3, 12, 19-20; 16:5, 10, 16, 23-27).
‘Whatsoever you shall ask’ again assuring no limitations to what believers may ask and receive within the bounds of the promises.
‘In my name’ this repeats the doctrine of the Christian’s power of attorney and teaches agency in divine affairs. Legally, any person capable of free and intelligent action may act as an agent. A lunatic, imbecile, an infant, or anyone incapable of free and intelligent action cannot act as an agent. The power of attorney means the legal and written authority to transact business for another. One may be a general agent to represent another in all of his business, or a special agent who is authorized to do some specific work, or transact some special business. The agent can act with all authority within the bounds of the legal authorization as much as the one who gave him this authority. All believers have full, legal, redemptive, gospel, blood-bought, promised, and family rights to use the name of Jesus.
Free, unlimited, and unqualified use of His name is the body’s deposit. Checks will be honoured in the amount signed with a steady and unwavering hand (Jas. 1:5-8).
‘Hitherto have you asked nothing in my name’ up until then the disciples have not asked anything in Jesus name for He was with them and they could ask Him personally; but after He left, they had to ask the Father in Jesus name.
‘Ask, and you shall receive’ Do not be afraid to ask – simply ask in faith and you shall receive. Asking is not limited to salvation, but “whatsoever,” “anything,” and “all things” will be given in Jesus name (Matt. 17:20; 21:22; Mark 11:22-24; John 14:12-15; 15:16).
‘That your joy may be full’ the purpose of answering prayer is to help you and to confirm the infinite Fatherhood of God (Matt. 7:11; Luke 11:9-13; Jas. 1:17), so do not hesitate to ask any material, physical, or spiritual blessing – any need for body, soul, or spirit – for no good thing will He withhold from you (Psa. 23:1; 34:9-10; 84:11; 91:1-12; Matt. 21:22; Mark 9:23; 11:22-24; John 14:12-15).