"Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete." (John 16:24)

"Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete." (John 16:24)

What does 'your joy will be complete' mean?

The key to understanding this is not only the context of the statement - the statements surrounding it - but the meaning of the Greek word translated* to "complete" - πληρόω (plēroō).

πληρόω (plēroō) means to become full. The lexicon says it means "to make full, to fill up, i.e. to fill to the full".

Jesus is discussing real fulfillment. Complete fulfillment. Spiritual fulfillment.

Will money fulfill us? Will fame fulfill us? Will winning a football game or other sports match fulfill us? Will becoming one of the richest and most powerful persons in the world fulfill us?

None of these things will fulfill us. None of these will give us complete joy. Joy is, after all, feeling happy. So complete joy means happiness that fulfills us.

No matter how much we have in this world, these things do not make us happy. We are still not fulfilled with whatever amount of wealth, fame and power we have accomplished. 

How do we know? Because we always want more. And even those who have more want still more. Whatever we have, it isn't enough. We want more.

Wanting more is the symptom of a lack of fulfillment. We are not fulfilled by material things. Why not?

Should we 'ask and you will receive' material things?

No, material things do not give us fulfillment or complete joy because we are not these physical bodies. 

These physical bodies are temporary vehicles we drive. Trying to become fulfilled by dressing them up well and feeding them is like a hungry car driver putting gas in the car and thinking that gas will satisfy his body's hunger.

In other words, the material things of this physical world do not reach us. They do not reach the spirit-person who drives this physical body and leaves it after the physical body dies.

This is a scientific fact - that the spirit-person leaves the body. It has been proven in numerous clinical death studies, clinical hypnosis and other scientific research. The spirit-person rises up over the body and looks down upon it following the death of the body in the hospital. If the body is resuscitated the person comes back into the body and describes what they saw after they left the body.
"Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit." (John 3:6)
According to Jesus' message, we are each spiritual by nature. We are not physical. Therefore the only things that will fulfill us are spiritual things. And what is the central "thing" of the spiritual realm? That one thing that we always seem to be reaching for, waiting for, hunting for as we look for our soul mate or gather together for our family dinners? It is love. Love is the "thing" of the spiritual realm. It is what we each need in order to become fulfilled.

This is why we are never fully satisfied with the "love" of the physical world. This is why there are so many divorces and breakups, and why there are so many heavy arguments at the family dinners.

It is because we are trying to place our love on those who do not fulfill our need for love. We can only be satisfied when we place our love on the Supreme Being. And we can only be satisfied when we are acting on that love - when we are rendering loving service to the Supreme Being.

This is what Jesus wanted his disciples to ask for.

What about 'not asked for anything' in Jesus' name?

This statement: "Until now you have not asked for anything in my name" is mistranslated.* The word translated to "anything" is οὐδείς (oudeis) which actually means "nothing."

What Jesus really said was:
"Until now you have asked nothing in my name."
This has a very different meaning

This is a very subtle difference but it is significant. It puts the emphasis on asking in Jesus' name. Asking for something in the name of one's spiritual teacher means what is being asked for is specific to the teachings of the teacher: In Jesus' case, this is love for God. This is what Jesus has been teaching his students, and this is what Jesus wants them to be asking for.

This and only this can give them complete joy in Jesus' name. Jesus is referring to them asking to become one of God's loving servants, and asking for this in Jesus' name means following in the footsteps of Jesus. It means becoming God's loving servant just as Jesus is God's loving servant.

Certainly, Jesus' disciples have asked Jesus many things as they followed him and asked him many questions. So it is not as if they hadn't asked Jesus for anything. But asking for something in his name means asking him for what he has been teaching them.

Jesus is clearly making a statement specific to them asking for something that will give them complete joy. This is love for God. This is also why Jesus' most important instruction was:
“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment." (Matt. 22:37-38)

*Here is the translation of this verse from the Lost Gospels of Jesus:
Up till now you have asked nothing in my name: Ask and you shall receive, so your joy may be complete. (John 16:24)