|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
16:23-27 Asking of the Father shows a sense of spiritual wants, and a desire of spiritual blessings, with conviction that they are to be had from God only. Asking in Christ's name, is acknowledging our unworthiness to receive any favours from God, and shows full dependence upon Christ as the Lord our Righteousness. Our Lord had hitherto spoken in short and weighty sentences, or in parables, the import of which the disciples did not fully understand, but after his resurrection he intended plainly to teach them such things as related to the Father and the way to him, through his intercession. And the frequency with which our Lord enforces offering up petitions in his name, shows that the great end of the mediation of Christ is to impress us with a deep sense of our sinfulness, and of the merit and power of his death, whereby we have access to God. And let us ever remember, that to address the Father in the name of Christ, or to address the Son as God dwelling in human nature, and reconciling the world to himself, are the same, as the Father and Son are one.
Verse 26. - In that day - pointing to "the hour" of these open declarations - ye shall ask (make petitions, not ask or demand of me, in the tone of equality) in my Name. The opportunity will come when all my Name will be appreciated by you, and your spiritual reception of me will teach you to approach the Father, who is thus revealed to you. Calvin in these verses calls attention to the familiarity of Israel with the idea of a Mediator, one by whom they drew near to God, and that Christ places himself here in the stead of the whole propitiatory service and ritual of the temple. "His Name" was the Divine equivalent of all the work of the high priest from one Day of Atonement to another and for evermore. And I do not say to you, that I will make my request to the Father concerning you (see note on ἐρωτάω and αἰτέω, Ver. 23, etc.). It will not do to argue, with Grotius, that this is just as if he had said, "To say nothing of my own intercessions for you," or, "You may take these for granted;" because the very next verse gives his reason for the assertion. Nor is it satisfactory to say, with Meyer, that the "prayers" of which he speaks (John 14:16; John 17:9, 20) are before the gift of the Paraclete, and not inconsistent with the higher condition of the disciples after the Paraclete should have been given; because John had received the Paraclete when he wrote, "We have an Advocate with the Father" (1 John 2:1). Nor can we suppose that the great utterances of Romans 8:34 and Hebrews 9:25 are vain imaginations, and that there is no sense in which the Lord does augment and complete our prayers, taking them upon his heart and going in his high-priestly prerogative into the holy place with his own blood; but the words must nevertheless be pressed, and their meaning held to be compatible with what Paul and John say of the" intercession of Christ." They reveal the perfect access to the Father's heart which he has secured for his disciples, the full reconciliation effected as well as devised and consummated by the Father's own love (cf. Ephesians 2:18, "By Christ we both [Jew and Gentile] have access (προσαγωγήν) in one spirit to the Father"). The end of the whole ministry of Christ is, in the power of the Holy Ghost's revelation of him, to bring men to the Father and let them know it. There is no need that Christ should (ἐρωτᾶν) make special prayer to the Father, as though he were merciful and the Father needed to be appeased towards those for whom he had prepared so great a salvation (see Romans 8:34, where Philippi, Calvin, and others show that Christ's ἐντυγχανεῖν is the effect of his own glorious and eternal work). His appearance in the presence of God for us is the perpetual pledge of the completeness of his sacrifice. These very passages in Hebrews and Romans have to be interpreted in harmony with this great statement of his own, viz. that there is no reason to ask the Father concerning them; all has been asked and answered, the intercession is complete; his whole work will have reconciled the Father with his children, and that by reason of the Father's own love.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
At that day ye shall ask in my name,.... For when the Spirit was poured upon them, they not only received his extraordinary gifts, and had a larger measure of his grace bestowed upon them; but were also blessed with him, as a spirit of grace and supplication, in a more remarkable manner than ever they had been before: they then better understood the throne of grace, and the advantages of it; had greater enlargements and assistances at it; and were better acquainted with the mediation of Christ, and the necessity of making use of his name, blood, and righteousness, in all their petitions and requests.
And I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you. This Christ had promised before, John 14:16; nor was there any occasion to repeat it now, of which they might be strongly assured: besides, at that day the Spirit would be given to them by virtue of his intercession; so that there would be no need of praying to the Father for them on that account. This is said, not as if the intercession of Christ for his people would then cease; for he is always their advocate with the Father, and ever lives to make intercession for them; though it may not be carried on in the same manner, by prayer, as when he was here on earth, his personal appearance, and the presentation of his blood, sacrifice, and righteousness, being sufficient; but to declare the disposition and readiness of his Father to hear them, and grant unto them whatsoever they should ask of him in his name.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
26. I say not … I will pray the Father for you—as if He were not of Himself disposed to aid you: Christ does pray the Father for His people, but not for the purpose of inclining an unwilling ear.
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