John 14:12-14 — Powerful promises

Jesus made some pretty amazing promises here.  The type that make you say, “Really?  Are you serious?”

Jesus said,

I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing.  He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.   (12)

Jesus did some amazing things.  He healed the sick.  Raised the dead.  Taught thousands, bringing the good news to those without hope.

And anyone who has faith in him will do these things too?  And even greater?

I suppose you could look at the church in the book of Acts, and say that Jesus was specifically talking about them.  And certainly, they did all that Jesus did and more.  Not only that, they did it on a larger scale, not only taking the gospel to Israel, but beyond Israel to the world.

But Jesus said, “anyone who has faith in me.”  Anyone.  Not just the disciples.  Not just the people in the New Testament.  Anyone who has faith in Jesus will do what he did and even greater things.

How could Jesus say that?  Because he was going to the Father, and he would send his Holy Spirit to live in each one of us.  And through his power working in us, we can change the world around us.

Does that mean we’ll heal the sick and raise the dead like Jesus did?  I wonder sometimes how much we limit God by our lack of faith.  I have heard of cases in third world countries where such things actually happened because people were too “ignorant” of the realities of life, and simply took Jesus at his word, and God worked miracles as a result.

My former pastor in Kobe was dying of cancer, and to the shock of his doctor, refused to give up at his diagnosis of 6 months to live.  Now he is healthier than ever, and his doctor can only say, “Keep doing whatever you’re doing.”

Another woman in our church had a grandmother who received Christ recently, and though she had once been almost deaf, now she can hear clearly.

A part of me is skeptical.  How long will these things last?  Can it last?  I don’t know.  All I know is that God is working.  And he is working today.

Maybe we should take him more at his word when he says,

And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father.  You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.  (13-14)

This is not to say that Jesus will give us a sports car if we ask him for it in his name.  But if we ask things, seeking not our own glory but God’s, seeking that his will be done, and not ours, then we will see answers to prayer.  Answers beyond what we can even ask or imagine.  (Ephesians 3:20)

God wants to shape the world around us.  And he wants to use us to do it.  The only question is, do we believe that he can use us?  And will we surrender our prejudices, our skepticism, and our lack of faith to him, and simply say, “Your will be done.  Use me as you will.”

Lord, I have a hard time believing these words.  They seem…unbelievable.  Lord, increase my faith.  Fill me with your Spirit.  Fill your church with your Spirit.  This world is dying and you want to give it life.  So help us to give up our prejudices.  Give up our skepticism.  And truly surrender all to you so that you can use us for your glory.  In Jesus name, amen.

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About bkshiroma

I'm from Hawaii, but have been in Japan as a missionary/English teacher since 1995. I'm currently going to a church called Crossroad Nishinomiya, an international church in Nishinomiya, a city right between Kobe and Osaka. Check out their website: crossroad-web.com 私がハワイから来ましたけど1995年に宣教師と英会話の教師として日本に引っ越しました。 今西宮にあるクロスロード西宮という国際の教会に行っています。どうぞ、そのホムページを見てください: crossroad-web.com
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