Jesus makes an astounding assertion in the Book of John that you and I should think about. After all, the assertion he makes is about US, about anyone who follows him. He actually says those who follow him, will do greater works than He did. Here’s his statement:
“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.” (John 14:12, NKJV) This is a pretty astounding claim. John had previously said that Jesus did “whatever the Father does” (John 5:19) and Mark 7:37 says that he did “all things well”. Yet, here Jesus promises that whoever believes in him will do even greater works.
No Small Claim
Say WHAT? What did Jesus mean when he said that? Does Jesus mean that all believers will go around healing the sick and raising the dead? Are we supposed to perform miracles and feed 5,000 with a few fish and some loaves? If we try to apply those standards to our Christian life, we could end up feeling inadequate and defeated. I’m not going to rule out the possibility of miracles, because I do believe God can do whatever He wills—and He can do it through whosoever He chooses.
Go read some more in the Book of Acts. Remember Acts 4:13, where the Pharisees were astounded at ignorant, unlearned men like Peter and John? In verse 16 they said, “What are we going to do with these men? Everyone living in Jerusalem knows they have performed a notable sign, and we cannot deny it.” The word sign means “miracle”, and I would submit that they are still happening today. The world we live in is filled with darkness, selfishness and pride. It harbors injustice and murder, anger and violent revenge… So where are these miracles today?
Don’t miss the Little, Looking for the Big
Every heart changed by faith is a miracle. Every life devoted to love is a miracle. We are still in the age of miracles, and while God is still greater than time and space, I also believe He works in small, personal miracles as well. Human nature tends to focus on the “great things” as determined by our culture and our values. Jesus taught that most of those values have no real relevance in the Kingdom of Heaven.
So just how are we going to do greater works than Jesus did? I did want to take a stab at what these “greater works” could possibly be, because Jesus said that if you believe in him, you have amazing potential. He says that the Holy Spirit will empower us to do things that he himself did not do.
There are opportunities we have as followers in which Jesus did not (or did not choose to) participate. Consider: When you present the gospel to a non-believer, it is a Greater work. When that person decides to follow Christ—it is a Greater work. If you join in harmony with fellow believers as the Church—it is a Greater work. When you raise a child in a Christian home—it is a Greater work. When you help the least of these in His name, then, yep, you have done it again.
Perhaps the smallest and least recognized act of service you do on earth will plant seeds that lead to fields of fruitful grain in the Kingdom. Heaven’s economy is different than ours, and it places value on many things that seem humble to us. Open your heart to the Spirit. Believe. Be humbler. Be greater.
Jesus said, “I do the things My Father asks me to;
But if you follow me, then there are greater things you’ll do.
Your actions, whether large and small, are miracles all the same–
The things you do in love, or do because you bear my name–
Random acts of service, and the things which no one sees
Are greater works in heaven. When you serve the least of these,
You are doing greater works; and you are serving me.
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