You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.
John 15:16 – Scripture of the Day (January 17, 2014)
Contextually, Jesus is talking to his apostles here. It’s the night on which he will be betrayed, arrested, and put on trial. Tomorrow he will die on the cross. Three days after that he will be resurrected. Forty days after that he will ascend into heaven to the right hand of God. So he knows that his time with these men, his closest companions and followers, is coming to an end. Chapters 13-17 of John contain his final thoughts and wishes which he shares with them, along with his final prayers for them.
He chose each of these apostles and appointed them to bear fruit…to be, as he told some of them, “fishers of men” (Matt. 4:19), his ambassadors pleading for reconciliation to a sinful world (2 Cor. 6:20), messengers of the gospel to the whole creation (Matt. 28:19; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:47; Acts 1:8). The fact that two thousand years later we are still following, studying, and discussing their Spirit-inspired writings which make up the New Testament (Eph. 3:3-5; 2 Pet. 1:19-21) is testimony to the fact that their fruit does indeed abide, and will continue to abide throughout time (Matt. 24:35). As apostles, whatever they asked for in the Father’s name (i.e., by his authority) would be granted to them, just as whatever they bound or loosed on earth in the church through their Spirit-inspired doctrine would (literally in the Greek) have already been bound or loosed in Heaven (Matt. 16:19; 18:18; John 20:23; cf. John 14:15, 25-26; 15:26-27; 16:7-15; Acts 1:8a; 2:1-4, 42a; 1 Cor. 2:10-13; Eph. 3:3-5; 2 Pet. 1:19-21).