Lent – Day 33: Friday, 26 March
12 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. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.
I’m coming back to Jesus at the Last Supper. I’d like draw your attention to a verse that seems to have been left in the broom cupboard in many churches these days. Verse 12 – it’s amazing – so amazing as to seem ridiculous! Can we really expect to do what Jesus did? The answer is a resounding ‘No’, as only he brought us to Father God. We can, however, do the works he did. By works I include preaching, teaching, miracles, healings, signs and wonders.
That verse challenges me firstly in that I have to believe that Jesus actually did do every work the Gospels tell us he did. If we harbour doubts that Jesus did what he is reported to have done, then we start off from a very weak position. There are so many works that defy the laws of nature. If we believe there is no higher law than that of nature then Jesus could not have defied it.
Jesus could only calm a storm (his words were largely for the benefit of his disciples as storms do not speak Aramaic) if his power and authority was higher than that of nature. He could only provide food enough for five thousand if his authority commanded biological processes. He could only heal people because he could see the perfect image of God in each broken person who came to him for healing.
Doubt can feed doubt and trigger disbelief. It’s its own perfect growing medium. Doubt needs to be rooted out. We can spend our time thinking up alternative scenarios to explain the events, to re-invent them in our own dimensions, or we can step forward in faith and start to trust in Jesus as the Son of the Highest.
I believe, and hope you do, too, that what Jesus was saying here was not for the benefit of the disciples only. We know that they witnessed and performed miracles in Jesus’ name. Did the Church stop working in these acts of power when the last disciple died?
If verse 12 has not apparently been evident in the Church, why would it happen now?
Does our church fellowship celebrate and expect works like those Jesus carried out?
Can we expect to do greater works?
Lord Jesus, you left words of power to your disciples. I dare to trust that they are for the Church, so I pray that by your Holy Spirit you would awaken your Church today to be Christ to the world. In your name, Amen.