May 31, 2022
The Year of our Lord, Jesus Christ
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
The Apostle John uses the word “believe” and its derivatives (believes, believeth, believest, etc.) more than any other New Testament writer. In fact, there is no book in the entire Bible that speaks more about belief than the Gospel of John. Paul wrote 13 books in the New Testament, John 5, but John uses the words believe, etc. 94 times to Paul’s 66 times. Which ironically does not include John’s book of the Revelation wherein the word believe, in any form, is not used. These facts simply point out that John wrote more about this thing of believing than any writer.
The fourteenth chapter of John begins with; Let not your heart be troubled, ye believe in God, believe also in me. In this chapter there is one Verily, verily teaching, number twenty-two. Its lesson is one about doing great works on earth.
Let’s deal with the elephant in the room. Jesus said… He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do. What are these greater works? Consider the term greater works in three areas.
Scope. Jesus’ ministry was limited geographically. Today the work of His believers can circle the globe.
Term. The Lord’s personal earthly ministry lasted about three years. Many of His believer’s ministries have lasted 30, 40, 50 years or more. No doubt, He did more in three years than we can do now in a lifetime though.
Type. Jesus did many wonderful works that His followers do not do today. Raise the dead for example. But those miraculous works were signs to a lost and dying world of His power and person. His immediate followers of that first generation of Christians also did miraculous works. Today, those miraculous works are found written in the Bible. They are just as miraculous today as they were then. They prove the power of God through Christ and then through His followers. The proof today is in His Word. This does not mean that miraculous things do not happen today though. Prayers are answered, people are helped, and souls are saved. Just not in the exact same way as they were by Jesus. Think about it like this, if a pastor and a church experience one prayer answered per week (many more than this are answered) and that pastor’s term of service in that church is twenty years, then 1,040 prayers would be answered. Miraculous! Right! For over twenty-four years this pastor has asked the Lord for safety on our property before every service. 3,744 times, at least, He has answered that prayer. This is just as miraculous as raising someone from the dead, just a different type of miracle. But by the way, every soul that is saved is spiritually resurrected from the dead.
Just as Nehemiah said of his work…I am doing a great work… you too are, or can be doing a great work. Jesus said if folks would believe on Him, they would do great works, even greater in some aspects to His. Amazing! We may not understand it all, but we can believe it all.
Until next time,
William T. Howe, Ph.D.