The Upper Room Discourse 28 Rabbi Michael Weiner
John 15:7-8 If you abide in Me and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you. In this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be My disciples.
The translators didn’t do us much of a favor here. In English we have what are called “if/then” statements. Any time we have an “if,” we have to have a “then.” “If” not, “then” why bother? Here we find both a double “if,” and a double “then.” Verse 7 should read … “If” you abide in Me, and (“if”) My words abide in you, (“then” you will) ask whatever you wish, and (“then”) it shall be done for you.
“If” we forget this is conditional word, we make ourselves out to be our own god. All we have to do is say something and it happens. The One true and living God is not your genie in a bottle, ready and waiting to grant your wish. He is The sovereign God, Who requires obedience, that His will be done on earth as it is in heaven, immediately and without question. In short, His clear desire (as He prayed in John 17) is relationship with us. Then our hearts will line up with His desires and He receives joy as He blesses us.
1 John 5:14 Now this is the confidence we have before Him – that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us – whatever we ask – we know that we have the requests we have asked from Him.
John 15 verse 7 intrigues me for another reason. There seems to be a “carrot and a stick” structure here. First the stick … John 15:6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away like a branch and is dried up. Such branches are picked up and thrown into the fire and burned. Then the carrot … John 15:7 If you abide in Me and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you. Could this be any clearer? “Don’t abide” and be burned, “do abide and have your prayers answered.”
Now on to verse 8. Let me restate it here … John 15:8 In this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be My disciples. Don’t miss the critical condition stated at the beginning of the verse, “in this.” The objective, as stated by Yeshua is to bring God glory. Hint: It’s not about you, it’s about Him.
God is glorified in relationship with His people. Yeshua puts the right ending on the verse … “so prove to be My disciples.” Our walk with God is all about discipleship. I’m so glad our focus statement at Shomair has it right … “Making disciples of Yeshua, following His teachings.”
Hold that thought. There’s more … To “make” a disciple, you’ve got to “be” a disciple. It is God’s desire that we would all grow in maturity. We grow intentionally in accountable relationships. The passage of time alone will only make us older. Real growth is found as we hold each other accountable and minister to one another in His Word and in His presence. We live what Yeshua said and we grow personally and we grow His kingdom.
Go and bear fruit my friends.