One of the most amazing promises of the Bible is John 14:12-14, where Jesus says,
“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. 13 Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.”
Have you ever thought about it? Have you ever mulled it over? Jesus says that if we believe in Him we will do the works the He does. But He doesn’t stop there. He continues with “and greater works than these” That is incredible! But it is true. Jesus did great things while He was walking the earth. What are some of the miracles He performed? He fed 5,000 men with a couple fish and a five loaves of bread. He healed men with leprosy. He healed the lame and the blind. He freed people from demons. He spoke into people’s hearts and lives. He raised people from the dead.
According to His promise, if you believe in Him, you will do all those things too. Remember belief isn’t about agreeing He exists. Belief is about trusting Him, acknowledging in your core that He is Christ, the Son of God, your savior, and depending on Him. It is remarkable to me that I should be doing all those amazing feats.
What could you or I possibly do that is greater than Jesus? Seriously? Yet He didn’t just say, “You can do greater things” or “You should do greater things.” He said, “You will.” What is it that you and I could possibly do? When Jesus returned to the Father He gave us a job. Matthew 28:18-20 reads,
“And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Jesus considers that of the greatest importance. That is a hefty job and it was the last thing Jesus commanded before ascending to Heaven. It is a considerable undertaking but He makes it possible. He gave us a gift. He didn’t leave us here to fight it out alone, to wander lost and hope we were getting it right. The Holy Spirit came and He unites with those who believe. He fills up those who follow Jesus. He guides, comforts, transforms, and empowers us. Jesus describes Him in verses 15-17.
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, 17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.”
We don’t just have God with us. He is not distant, looking down on us from Heaven hoping we do well on our mission. He is living within in us. God is inside you, Believer! Because He is in you, you can do the work of Jesus. You can reveal God to the world. You can do all those awesome and wonderful things Jesus did. Jesus loved people with every fiber of His being. He healed the sick. He comforted the hurting, even when He was hurting.
Are you doing that? Or is the power inside you quenched and grieved, stifled and depressed? Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” What are His commandments? They are simple. John 13:34 says,
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.”
And we just read Jesus parting words, our great commission from Matthew’s gospel. We are to make disciples of all nations, baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teach them to observe all that Jesus commanded.
We cannot love one another without active implementation of the gifts we were given. Jesus didn’t love others by saying a prayer as He passed them by. He loved by connecting to and relating to people. He loved by meeting their needs. He loved by pointing people to repentance and directing them to the Father. He loved by teaching people what God wants. God wants love and relationship not sacrifice and ritual. Hosea 6:6 reads,
“For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice,
the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.”
Examine your life and ask yourself if you are truly loving others as Jesus loved. Are you doing the work of Jesus? Maybe you are doing your own work. Maybe you are doing the work of your church. Who is being glorified by your acts? Is God being glorified when you can’t say no to every favor asked of you and work yourself into a tizzy? I doubt it. Is Jesus being glorified as you sit in your church pew and pray for the orphans and widows?
Even acts that seem great might not be loving others as Jesus loved if anyone but God is getting the glory. When you adopt the needy family for Christmas, is it you, your church, or God being praised? When you heal a broken arm is it you or God being exalted? When you feed the homeless man is God being adored?
Are there any works to examine? Is there active love happening in your life? If you love Jesus, then you should be loving others. You love Jesus by loving others. You are not saved by works. That is clear. But your love for God is manifested by good works. Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.” (Verse 12). He said whoever believes in Him will do the works He did. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you love Jesus and you believe and follow Him if you are loving people in a concrete manner like Jesus. Don’t dupe yourself by saying your relationship with God is a private one and that God knows your heart and that is enough. Yes, God knows your heart, but He wants others to know His heart and He wants people to see you are His disciple. John 13:35, the verse directly after Jesus tells the disciples to love one another as He has loved, says,
“By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
So I challenge you to love others tangibly as Jesus loved and loves. I challenge you to do at least one great work today, and each day. I challenge you to unleash the power of God within you and obey Him in a way that might even frighten you a bit. Ask the Father anything in Jesus’ name and watch what Jesus will do for the person you lavish His love upon.