John 16:23

23 On that day you will ask nothing of me. Very truly, I tell you, if you ask anything of the Father in my name, he will give it to you.

John 16:23 Meaning and Commentary

John 16:23

In that day ye shall ask me nothing
Meaning, not the whole Gospel dispensation, so often called, in prophetic language, "that day"; and is, in the New Testament, opposed to the night of Jewish and Gentile darkness; and, in comparison of the former dispensation, is a time of great spiritual light and knowledge: nor the latter part of that day, when there will be no night of darkness and desertion, of error and security, of affliction and persecution, with the church; when the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the Lord; when all the children of God shall be taught of him, and there will be no need to say, know the Lord, for all shall know him, from the least to the greatest: nor the day of judgment, which, by way of emphasis, is so frequently called "that day": nor the state of ultimate happiness, the everlasting day of glory; when all imperfections shall be done away, when saints will know, as they are known, and see Jesus as he is, and need not ask any questions about him: but the time when Christ, and his apostles, should meet again, and see each other's faces with joy and pleasure, is meant; and the time following thereon, especially the day of Pentecost, when the Spirit was poured down upon them, and, according to his promise, came to them, taught them all things, and led them into all truth. This asking is not to be understood of asking in prayer; for it appears, by what follows, that they should ask in his name then, and he encourages to it; but of asking him questions, and that not of any sort; for it is certain, that, within this time, they did ask many things. Peter asked what John, the beloved disciple, should do; and they all asked him, a little before his ascension, whether he would, at that time, restore again the kingdom to Israel; but it is to be restrained to such things they had been, or were, desirous of asking him; such as, whither goest thou? show us the Father? how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? and more especially these last questions, they greatly desired to put to him, what is this, "a little while and ye shall not see me?" and what is this, "a little while and ye shall see me?" and what is the meaning of these words, "because I go to the Father?" ( John 16:17 ) . Now our Lord intimates, that at this time all these things would be so clear and evident to them, that they should ask him no questions about them. But he adds,

verily, verily, I say unto you, whatsoever ye shall ask the Father
in my name, he will give it you.
Asking here signifies prayer, and a different word is here used than before. The object of prayer is the Father, though not to the exclusion of the Son and Spirit, who were both separately, or in conjunction with the Father, prayed unto after this; see ( Acts 7:59 ) ( 22:16 ) ( 2 Thessalonians 3:5 ) ( Romans 1:7 ) ( 1 Corinthians 1:2 1 Corinthians 1:3 ) ( Revelation 1:4 Revelation 1:5 ) . The medium of access to the Father is the name of Christ; he is the Mediator between God and man, the way of access unto him; whatever is asked, is to be asked on account of his blood, righteousness, and sacrifice, and then there is no doubt of success; whatever is asked will be given; his blood within the vail speaks loud for every blessing; his righteousness, God is always pleased with; his sacrifice is a sweet smelling savour: his mediation is powerful; and his name is always prevalent.

John 16:23 In-Context

21 When a woman is in labor, she has pain, because her hour has come. But when her child is born, she no longer remembers the anguish because of the joy of having brought a human being into the world.
22 So you have pain now; but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.
23 On that day you will ask nothing of me. Very truly, I tell you, if you ask anything of the Father in my name, he will give it to you.
24 Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete.
25 "I have said these things to you in figures of speech. The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures, but will tell you plainly of the Father.

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. Or [will ask me no question]
  • [b]. Other ancient authorities read [Father, he will give it to you in my name]
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.