Throne of Preparation Icon (ivory carving), Byzantine, cir. 1000

Translation of the Gospel According to John

At that time Jesus saith to His disciples: Amen, amen, I say to you: if you ask the Father any thing in My name, He will give it to you. Hitherto you have not asked any thing in my name: Ask, and you shall receive, that your joy may be full. These things I have spoken to you in proverbs. The hour cometh when I will no more speak to you in proverbs, but I will show you plainly of the Father. In that day you shall ask in My name; and I say not to you that I will ask the Father for you: for the Father Himself loveth you, because you have loved Me and have believed that I came out from God. I came forth from the Father and am come into the world; again I leave the world and I go to the Father. His disciples say to Him: Behold, now Thou speakest plainly and speakest no proverb. Now we know that Thou knowest all things and Thou needest not that any man should ask of Thee: by this we believe that Thou camest forth from God.

A Message From St. John Chrysostom’s Homilies on John: LXXIX.

Trinity Icon, Archimandrite Moses of Crete, 1761

Again He proveth nothing else by these words, but that He is from God. For then ye shall for the time to come know all things. But what is, Ye shall not ask Me? “Ye shall need no intercessor, but it is sufficient that ye call on My Name, and so gain all things.”

Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask My Father in My Name.”

(He showeth the power of His Name, if at least being neither seen nor called upon, but only named, He even maketh us approved by the Father. But where hath this taken place? Where they say, Lord, behold their threatenings, and grant unto Thy servants that with boldness they may speak Thy word, and work miracles in Thy Name. And the place was shaken where they were (Acts 4:29, 31).

Hitherto ye have asked nothing.

Hence He showeth it to be good that He should depart, if hitherto they had asked nothing, and if then they should receive all things whatsoever they should ask. “For do not suppose, because I shall no longer be with you, that ye are deserted; My Name shall give you greater boldness.” Since then the words which He had used had been veiled, He saith, These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs, but the time cometh when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs. There shall be a time when ye shall know all things clearly. He speaketh of the time of the Resurrection. Then, I shall tell you plainly of the Father.

(For He was with them, and talked with them forty days, being assembled with them, and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God (cf. Acts 1:3-4)) “because now being in fear, ye give no heed to My words; but then when ye see Me risen again, and converse with Me, ye will be able to learn all things plainly, for the Father Himself will love you, when your faith in Me hath been made firm.”

And I will not ask the Father.

“Your love for Me sufficeth to be your advocate.”

Because ye have loved Me, and have believed that I came out from God. I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world; again I leave the world, and go to the Father.

For since His discourse concerning the Resurrection, and together with this, the hearing that I came out from God, and thither I go, gave them no common comfort, He continually handleth these things. He gave a pledge, in the first place, that they were right in believing on Him; in the second, that they should be in safety. When therefore He said, A little while, and ye shall not see Me; and again a little while, and ye shall see Me (John 16:17), they with reason did not understand Him. But now it is no longer so. What then is, Ye shall not ask Me? “Ye shall not say, ‘Show us the Father,’ and, ‘Whither goest Thou?’ for ye shall know all knowledge, and the Father shall be disposed towards you even as I am.” It was this especially which made them breathe again, the learning that they should be the Father’s friends wherefore they say, Now we know that Thou knowest all things.

Seest thou that He made answer to what was secretly harboring in their minds? And needest not that any man should ask Thee.

That is, “Before hearing, Thou knowest the things which made us stumble, and Thou hast given us rest, since Thou hast said, The Father loveth you, because ye have loved Me. After so many and so great matters, they say, Now we know. Seest thou in what an imperfect state they were? Then, when, as though conferring a favor upon Him, they say, Now we know, He replieth, “Ye still require many other things to come to perfection; nothing is as yet achieved by you. Ye shall presently betray Me to My enemies, and such fear shall seize you, that ye shall not even be able to retire one with another, yet from this I shall suffer nothing dreadful.” Seest thou again how condescending His speech is? And indeed He makes this a charge against them, that they continually needed condescension. For when they say, Lo, now Thou speakest plainly, and speakest no parable (John 16:29), and therefore we believe Thee He showeth them that now, when they believe, they do not yet believe, neither doth He accept their words. This He saith, referring them to another season.

But the The Father is with Me, He hath again put on their account; for this they everywhere wished to learn. Then, to show that He did not give them perfect knowledge by saying this, but in order that their reason might not rebel, (for it was probable that they might form some human ideas, and think that they should not enjoy any assistance from Him,) He saith, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me ye might have peace. That is, “that ye should not cast Me from your thoughts, but receive Me.” Let no one, then, drag these words into a doctrine; they are spoken for our comfort and love.

All Saints Icon

“For not even when we suffer such things as I have mentioned shall your troubles stop there, but as long as ye are in the world ye shall have sorrow, not only now when I am betrayed, but also afterwards. But rouse your minds, for ye shall suffer nothing terrible. When the master hath gotten the better of his enemies, the disciples must not despond.”

“And how,” tell me, “hast Thou ‘conquered the world’?”

“I have told you already, that I have cast down its ruler, but ye shall know hereafter, when all things yield and give place to you.”