Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves.
“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. Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.” (John 14:11-14 ESV)
A Charismatic Evangelical like myself reads a passage like this and says, “Yes! I want that!” I want to work with Jesus to accomplish great things for His Kingdom. How awesome would that be? Healing the sick and the lame. Making blind people see. Casting out demons. Calling on the dead to live again. Feeding multitudes with the contents of my lunch box. Being in my Father’s arms in prayer. That would be awesome!
I can want all that because there is absolutely no way that I could do any of that so it would have to be God working in me and through me doing those things. That’s the beauty of laying hands on someone and experiencing God’s healing, or feeling them go limp at your touch. I can’t be “puffed up” by such signs as these because I know that I am not doing anything but acting in faithful obedience. That’s the beauty of not even being in proximity of some one but praying for them and feeling the Holy Spirit move and knowing that God is answering that prayer.
But Jesus walks on water. Jesus gives sight to the blind, raises the dead, casts out demons, cures the sick and the invalid and then looks at me and says that I can do these things too and even greater things. Greater things than raising some one from death?
And I have. I have taught people and seen them accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior on the spot. I’m not bragging. Many people have done this. But isn’t that a greater thing than raising someone from physical death? Leading some one to eternal life is a far greater accomplishment than feeding them lunch even if that lunch includes more than 10,000 people, I think.
But there’s still that lingering “but”. How terribly amazing would it be to be so full of the Spirit, so conscious of God’s Will, so close to Jesus, that every move I made, every word one spoke was if it was Jesus moving and speaking and not I? That’s what I want. More than that even, that’s what I want for you. Once again, Jesus tells us that it’s a matter of faith and followed by action.
“Whoever believes in me will do the works that I do…” (v.12)
I have to know that Jesus is willing to act on my behalf, then He will. The key is that certain knowledge that it is not I but Jesus acting and He acts not for His own glory but for the glory of our Father.
There is so much that can be unpacked just from these few verses. A book could probably be written on the subject. I want to leave this for now with a reminder of two points. The first is that Jesus said “Whoever”. I think He meant exactly that. You and I are “whoevers.” We can do these things.
The second reminder is that the only reason for signs and wonders to occur is to glorify God. That’s it. Healing some one is awesome for that person certainly, and we should rejoice for their good fortune. But, above all, we need to praise God for such a witness of His awesomeness.