The declaration by Jesus seems starkly in-congruent with our experience. It seems way beyond our wildest dreams. Yet the it is plain as day in John 14:12. “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.” Doing even some of the miraculous and compassionate works of Jesus would be such a blessing. Imagine how lives could be touched and changed! But how can we begin to experience his greater things?
Right now I am slowly reading, meditating and praying through John 14-16. I highly recommend to you spending some time letting the words of Jesus percolate into your mind and spirit. As you do you may discover some of the “secrets” to a “greater things” ministry. Let me suggest a few insights.
Jesus is comforting his disciples. He is about to leave them. They have been utterly dependent on him. He has sent them out on a few ministry excursions and they returned greatly rejoicing that God worked through them in powerful ways. Now they will be alone, but the Christian life is not designed to be done alone. So Jesus promises them he will not leave them as orphans. This is how they/we can experience these greater things in ministry. First, for God to work powerfully through us we must have faith (v.12). Our faith is bolstered by reading extensively in the scriptures and meditating on God’s deeds of power. Secondly, we need to learn to listen. In the 15th chapter Jesus explains the importance of maintaining a close connection or abiding with him. Daily we seek out the Lord, developing an intimate relationship with him. It takes time. It also means waiting and listening to the voice of God. Once we develop this pattern of spending time with God and listening, then we need to obey whatever he says. In these chapters Jesus often reminds us of the importance of obedience. It is the mark that we love Jesus (14:15,23-24). One last thing I see is the importance of yielding to the Spirit (14:16-17). The Spirit is the presence of God in our lives. He is the one that keeps us from going it alone. He is the one who leads us into ministry and gives the power to do what God desires.
Let’s get on with the Lord’s greater things ministry!