Even greater works - by Ben Bonython
“I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father." John 14:12
Imagine being a young person in the days of Jesus, 2000 years ago. For this to work, the first thing you must do is remove from your mind our immediate access to knowledge and the almost impossible idea of no internet.
After that, imagine being a person who is studying hard to learn the scriptures, memorising the first five books of the Old Testament, and progress in understanding as you study hard to be accepted in the best Jewish schools, with the best teachers of the scriptures - with the hope of being chosen to be a disciple. Imagine you reach about half way of your study...and realise that you are not at the level of the other boys. They are just better than you. You do not get that letter of offer to progress to the top level Jewish School.
You wonder if you tried hard enough. You wonder how your family will feel about their investment into your education and ambitions and sense of failure. You return home to take up fishing, the business of your father and of the village. The other boys you fish with are more advanced in the trade because have been trying to learn scripture. You can't read the sea as well as others your age, and younger... And your mind is trapped in a cycle of disappointment as you reflect on what could have been....you always felt you were destined for something else.
And then one day, a man called Jesus walks past and calls you to follow Him. You answer YES by dropping everything, with the hope of being like this teacher. Your prayers and hearts desire to be a disciple of a Rabbi have been answered. You feel a load lift from your heart as you realise you have been chosen by Jesus, a teacher, a miracle worker, a wise and respected Rabbi. Being chosen to become a disciple means you 'have what it takes' to be like the teacher. Being a disciple means the teacher believes in you. Being a disciple means you learn to think and act like the teacher. Being a disciple means that you will do what the teacher does - the teacher believes you can!
Then imagine that the adventure of being a disciple was amazing...until about 3 years into discipleship, the tension builds everywhere, and all is not well. It seems everyone is against your Rabbi, and against you. You are confused and uncertain. In your heart is doubts about yourself and your Rabbi. Instead of feeling honoured in the community, you feel isolated and even rejected. You hear about death threats towards your teacher and then your teacher starts sharing about betrayal, death, resurrection...your heart is so troubled because your hopes and dreams are riding on Jesus and all seems so precarious...(John 14:1).
But into that moment and into those very real fears and feelings, Jesus says the words that seem to ease your heart, inspire confidence in you, and you in Him.
Jesus says to Believe........
"And because of you believe...you will do the same as me" (John 14:12)
And that was the point of being a disciple. To be told that you cannot do what the Rabbi does means either the Rabbi was a false teacher, or you never really had it.
But Jesus says to His disciples - "anyone who believes will do what I do....and even greater works..."
So with this statement, the disciples had a choice, to believe and fulfil their destiny doing the same works that Jesus does....or not to believe.
Do you believe in Jesus?
The same words speak to us today. Jesus says I AM THE WAY...and just believe...
Will you just believe and allow 'The Way' to be sovereign in your life?
Because if you do believe, you are His disciple, and you will do the same works He does...
Amazing isn't it....just believe.
Thoughts for further reflection
- Is your heart troubled? Just believe...that he prepares a place for you in heaven
- Are you concerned about if you are worthy? Just believe...that He chose you.
- Are you fearful about not being able to live up to calling? Just believe and do the same works as Christ
- Are you concerned about what you see around you? Just believe...that Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life(John 14:6)