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John’s gospel post 65: Greater things

January 29, 2014

John 14:12 & 13

Gotta say we have slowed down a bit. We’ve been crawling our way through chapter 14. I think that I had the impression that there was an awful lot to take in and I needed to break it down. The last post was short. Maybe too short. But I was conscious of these 2 verses coming up, and a sense that I’m likely to have more questions than answers.

“Whoever believes in me”. That includes me and plenty of you readers. “Whoever. All believers – will do the works I have been doing. And because I’m going back to my father you will do even greater things than me”.

Now let me just check on that. What are the works Jesus has done, limiting ourselves to those John has mentioned so far?

1. Changes water into wine. Nope. I’ve never done that.
2. Healed an official’s son without going to see him. Err no.
3. Makes a paralysed man walk. Negative.
4. Fed a football crowd with 5 loaves and 2 fish. Well I’ve run out of pasties on the soup run!
5. Walked on water. I can barely swim in water!
6. Gives sight to a man born blind. Well I prayed for someone once and their ear got better.
7. Oh and the little matter of raising a man from the dead! Don’t even ask!!

But there it is. Believers in Jesus will do equal and greater works than him. Read the books of Acts. And it’s there. Great miracles. And Jesus does not place a time limit on his followers doing these things. He doesn’t say “after a thousand years, we’ll drop the supernatural stuff and depend on preaching”.

So where does that leave me?

It leaves me with an expectation that God will act supernaturally, miraculously through his people. Which is why I am so often frustrated that my experience comes nowhere near to matching up with that expectation.

And trouble is, disillusioned as I sometimes get, I still believe that the God I follow, the Jesus I worship is able to do so much more than I ask or think. I believe God wants to surprise the people of this world. I believe he wants to answer big faith filled prayers.

Which leads us to Jesus’ next big statement “to God’s glory, whatever you ask in my name, I will do it”. That’s another huge promise.

Is this just some sort of cosmic slot machine? Put your request in and out comes a miracle? Touch your TV screen and be healed? Send in your money and be prosperous?

I do not believe that the Christian faith is that clean cut. There are miracles and failures. Healing and terminal disease. Riches and poverty. One of Jesus’ later followers, Paul would say that he could live for Jesus whether times were good or bad.

Does God give us our every request? I’m sure he does NOT.

Not so often as I’d like, but every so often a get a glimpse of God’s power breaking into this world.

That’s why I am part of the church. That’s why I and my fellow Christians should be more expectant, should pray bigger prayers. That’s why I still pray for miracles. Why I ask God to heal.

Even if my experience of Jesus is a pale shadow of what it should be! I still want the bigger picture. You know – that life in all it’s fullness.

So I’m going to keep asking for things in Jesus’ name. Where I doubt, I’m going to sky for God given faith.

I’d love to know your experience and perspective on these verses.


From → Christianity

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