‘Probing Deeper’ Meditations: 6. Believers? (1)
Jn 14:12 “I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing.”
This I find one of the most unnerving verses of the New Testament. For Jesus’ works see Lk 4:18,19 & Mt 11:5. Now my escape clause for this is that we are all part of the body of Christ (1 Cor 12:27) and I only have some of the gifts and others have other gifts, so we can only do parts of the whole. But the question then follows, am I functioning in this body alongside others also being inspired and empowered by the Spirit so that collectively we are together doing these works that Jesus spoke of? Are we seeing lives being transformed by our activities as the Spirit leads? If not (and I suggest not) we need to do some serious thinking and praying. Not guilt, but goals.
Now having said this it seems we’ve said all that needs saying, but the truth is that in the same way the Bible will often cover the same ground, so it is scriptural to do this, for the apostle Peter did just this (2 Pet 1:12-). So let’s look again, perhaps more deeply.
“Whoever believes in me.” That seems a simple starting point and I suspect most reading these notes would say, “I believe in Jesus!” But why therefore do doing the works of Jesus make many of us feel uneasy? Yes, we can use my escape clause that I used above, but nevertheless we realise it is just that, an escape from responsibility. In the first three studies we considered obedience and then in the last two the thought of fruitfulness. If we sit in the ‘pews’ Sunday after Sunday, and are just nice and good people but otherwise we leave our ‘religion’ hanging in the wardrobe for our next ‘church’ experience, we know deep down that somehow we’re missing something, there must be more than attending services? There is. So what are these works that I may be doing?
I suppose the most commonly accepted one is sharing your faith with unsaved family, friends, neighbours, workmates etc., and we covered creating an attitude of faith and expectancy in the previous series entitled ‘Purposing Change’. We take opportunities and make opportunities to do this. But a less common but very simple ‘work’ is praying over people and asking the Holy Spirit to come with revelation or power and then watch the changes taking place. As I said previously that may involve us proclaiming the truth to set free (Jn 8:32), testifying to the truth to overcome (Rev 12:11), commanding things to happen (Mt 21:21), binding the enemy (Mt 18:18), loosing people or situations (Mt 18:18) and pronouncing Jesus’ name as our authority (Jn 14:13 etc.). This may be a simple faith-learning starting place.