Just before his arrest and crucifixion, Jesus said things to his disciples that were nothing less than astounding. He told them that he would soon be leaving and returning to the Father. As a result of his going to the Father, Jesus revealed to his followers that they would do greater things than he had done (John 14:12). Do greater things than Jesus did?
Jesus turned water to wine at a wedding. He satisfied over 5,000 hungry people with only five small barley loaves and two small fish. He walked on water. He gave sight to a blind man. He went to a funeral and told the dead man to come out of his tomb, and the man did. How could Jesus be serious in saying that his followers would do greater things than these?
Jesus made this promise to his disciples before he died on the cross, before giving his life as a ransom for lost sinners. His death and resurrection was greater than anything he had done before because his sacrifice made eternal salvation available. After all, what good is it to make a heart merry with wine, a stomach satisfied with food, a pair of eyes able to enjoy light, or even a dead man to get up and walk, if they still face an eternity in hell?
After Jesus died to provide God’s forgiveness and rose again to offer new life, the greater work could be done. Jesus entrusted the proclamation of his saving work to his followers. Jesus’ followers still have the responsibility and the honor of telling the world about the greatest work ever done. What could be greater than seeing lost souls transferred from the kingdom of darkness to the Kingdom of Light, to see a person’s eternity changed from everlasting death to everlasting life? Eternal salvation is a greater work than food, sight, or even earthly life.
True, Jesus attended to people’s immediate needs, and so should his followers. But Jesus did not get distracted from the greater work of eternal salvation and neither should his followers. Our Lord has not only saved us to live a new life, but he has called us to proclaim this new life to others who are still lost. To enjoy God’s blessings is a good thing. To live holy lives is pleasing to God. To help those in need is work worthy of our labor. But to share in God’s work of salvation is truly the greatest thing we can do.
Please pray about your participation in the core mission of your church, proclaiming the Good News about God’s salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. Attend a personal evangelism class. Tell others about the faith. Invite people to church. Go or help send someone else on a mission trip. Find your place in God’s Kingdom mission and enjoy the excitement of doing greater things.
May Jesus Christ always be our greatest passion,
Brother Richard Foster, Pastor
Grace Baptist Church, Camden, AR