Friday, November 30, 2012

The Terms of The New Covenant Part 7 – Greater Works

Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. 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.
John 14:11-12

Greater Miracles?
It is perhaps unfortunate that some translations say, "believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves." It is true that the underlying Greek word can be used of miracles but it is more generally used for non-miraculous acts.

The problem with introducing the concept of miracles into this passage is that it tends to lead to the assumption that Jesus is suggesting believers will do greater miracles than Him and that is not what we see in our lives or even in the Acts of the Apostles.

We do see some apostles doing some amazing things but nothing can surpass Jesus' raising of Lazarus from the dead after four days.

Some will contend that the word "believe" in this passage provides the context in which greater miracles will be done, but it is hard to see how we can say Paul was lacking in belief. And while he certainly did raise at least one person from the dead (Acts 20:7-12), he cannot be said to have done greater miracles than Jesus.

Greater Works
So, what works have believers done that are greater than those of Jesus?

To start with, Jesus confined His ministry to a very small area approximately the size of the country of Wales (in the UK) or the US state of Massachesetts. In 2000 years the ministry of the church has literally gone global. There are still some places unreached by the gospel, mostly in the Muslim and Communist world. But even these are not beyond the arm of Christian TV and radio (find out about such broadcasts HERE).

Jesus healed many people during His three years of ministry, but His followers have reached millions with healthcare needs. For example, blindness caused by leprosy can easily prevented by an operation costing just £35 (to find out more go HERE).

Jesus gave 5,000 people a meal using one child's packed lunch. The cost of one family's pizza delivery could pay for vocational training for a Christian woman in a Muslim country so she can gain an ongoing income to provide her family with food for years to come (more HERE).

What we do doesn't have to be spectacular in order to be great. God has blessed us with the ability to touch the world in amazing ways and our belief in Jesus is our motivator.

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