In the Gospel of John, the apostle describes what Jesus told his followers, and us, about what we can look forward to by believing in him. The promise Jesus made leaves no doubt that we are capable of doing works similar to those he did, and even greater works.
”Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” (John 14:12).
Perhaps that’s why, when we think about how God wants us to serve him, we have tendency to think big. We imagine ourselves accomplishing great things, when all along, he just wants us to do what he wills, that for which he called us.
Does John 14:12 mean we will carry on the work of Jesus, and do so with even greater effect, if that is even possible? Do these words of Jesus promise we will do all the wonderful works he did, miracle after miracle, as he did?
Faith in Jesus and His Works
This passage makes a direct link between faith and works, faith in Jesus Christ and faith in his works. As Christ followers, we are to demonstrate our faith in Jesus through our works, the way we live, making us his witnesses, leading others to him.
This is the exact opposite of the way most of us think. We think about all WE can do without first thinking about what God wants us to do, or what he wants to do through us. This way of thinking precludes us being able to do the “greater things” about which Jesus speaks.
Acting this way, our way, without consideration of God’s way, guarantees we will do things in a lesser way. Doing greater things in our eyes, in the world’s eyes and in our name, glorifies us, not he who is worthy of all glory. “And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” (John 14:13).
Jesus Gave Us a Helper
Jesus speaks about letting things in our hands since he is going to the Father. He gives us a helper to make sure we can do greater things out of love for him. “If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—the Spirit of truth.” (John 14:15-17).
God the Father once called Jesus his beloved Son in whom he was well pleased (Matthew 3:17). When we show our faith in the Father’s Son, thereby bringing others to him, and giving him all the honor and glory, we also please the God the Father.
Listen to God's Words
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” (Colossians 3:23-24).
“Jesus said, ‘You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You will see greater things than that.’” (John 1:50).
“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us,” (Ephesians 3:20).
In the Words of Others
“All Christians are but God’s stewards. Everything we have is on loan from the Lord, entrusted to us for a while to use in serving him.” John MacArthur
“The measure of a men's greatness is not the number of servants he has, but the number of people he serves.” Peter Hagee
“Every day is a gift from God. There’s no guarantee of tomorrow, so that tells me to see the good in this day to make the most of it.” Joel Osteen
Think About It
If Jesus knocked on your door and encouraged you to do even greater things for him, what are some of the “things” that would come to mind?
How have you demonstrated your faith in Jesus Christ by your actions and the way you live your life? If not, why not? What changes do you need to make?
Meditate on Ephesians 3:20. What comes to mind when you read the words, “according to the power at work with us?” Substitute the word “me” for “us.” What do you think the power could be within you?
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