Tuesday through Thursday Jesus was spending time teaching His disciples. He had spent 3 years with them, teaching and showing them what it means to be His follower. Much of the time He had not allowed them to fully understand what He was talking about, so there were always questions about what He had just said, or done. Now He is allowing them more insight into what He was doing and saying and they were starting to get it.
I really can't imagine what was going through His mind this week. He knew what was right around the corner. He knew that He would be separated from the Father. He was sinless and was going to have all of our sin laid on Him. Yet He knew that the Father's plan was perfect and He perfectly trusted the Father. No doubt; what a glorious thought.
As Jesus is gently teaching these last few days before Calvary, 7 times in John 14-16 He encourages them to "ask whatever you will and he Father will give it to you" or something very similar to this. He had been their perfect Provider for 3 years and now He was going away. He must have known they were going to be concerned for their basic needs. There are some conditions, like abiding before receiving, but there is to be much asking. What a comfort it must have been for the disciples to know that they could just ask the Father and He would give them what they asked in His name, so that the Father would be glorified in the Son.
I'm not sure how far reaching this is. I'm not sure to what extent Jesus was telling them, just ask and He will give it, whatever it is. In principle He is not telling them that He will give them "a new Mercedes" every time they ask, but He certainly is telling them to ask frequently enough that He must mean it. It also seems that the Son is excited to tell them to ask the Father; sort of a "ask Him and see what He is capable of doing on my behalf for you". Kind of like, "My Dad is so good and powerful that you can ask Him whatever you want and He will do it, just because He loves me".
Jesus also was telling them about the Holy Spirit, who He would leave with them, that would comfort and instruct them. They didn't fully understand this yet, but it wouldn't be long and they would have a much greater grasp on what this would mean and how much they would need Him.
3 years of Jesus 24-7 and in just a few short days they would have to take all that He had been living out before them and put it into practice. 3 years of training for ministry. 3 years of "Bible". Was this the first seminary? Jesus had equipped them to do ministry and He knew they were prepared, as soon as He finished His work and gave them the Holy Spirit.
Today, His work is finished and He has left us His Holy Spirit and His Word and we have all the tools we need to be His disciples. Ask the Father what you will and He will do it. Ask Him to change the world through you. Are you begging Him to change your life and the lives of those around you, for His glory? He wants to change us and He will be glorified. Ask Him and watch Him work and then watch Him make your joy complete.
I am not a great "asker", but it seems this is exactly what Jesus is telling us to do. Ask and do NOT doubt and the Father will give it to you. Is it pride that keeps me from asking? I hope not. I know I don't have any power to do any of this myself, so I should be begging all time to have Him do the work He has planned for me, through me. I must be better at asking.