Genie in a bottle?



Scripture: John 14:10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but the Father who dwells in me does his works. 11 Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves.12 Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it.

Observation: Jesus is explaining the fact that he and God the Father are one. As one might ask for something in the name of God, a disciple of Jesus may ask for the same in Jesus’ name. Then there is v.14 “If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it.” It’s a challenging statement because, taken literally, it sounds like Jesus is offering himself as some kind of genie in a bottle. Yet, having prayed many times for things in the name of Jesus that did not come to pass (as I’m sure many of you have as well), this is not the case.

Application: I have lots of resources that help explain bible texts. The theories offered to explain this particular text are interesting – but not is particularly convincing. Fact is, Jesus said what he said. It’s pretty obvious what he meant, though my experience doesn’t square with his statements. What do I make of this? I don’t know. There’s obviously more to this statement than meets the eye, but truth is it’s a mystery to me. And I’m okay with that.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, give us grace that we might fully understand the scriptures. And when we don’t understand, help us accept our limited comprehension as we await your return in glory. Amen.

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