(I've been working on this for a while, it mirrors what I've been teaching at church for the last several months, but it was getting a little long so I'm going to break it up into four parts for easier consumption.This is part two, part one, Doing The Works of Jesus is here.)
Jesus said those who believe on him would do the same works he did. They'd heal the sick, cast out demons, still storms, multiply loaves and fishes…:
John 14:12 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. 13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.”
Why would they be able to do the same works and even greater works? “…because I go unto my father…” What does that mean? We get a clue in the previous chapter:
John 13:1 Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father… 3 Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God;”
Jesus knew that God was giving all things into his hands, or as he put it in Luke when he was being questioned by the religious authorities prior to his crucifixion, from the NIV:
Luke 22:69 But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the mighty God.
Or as he put it after his resurrection:
Matthew 28:18 NIV Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit
Or as it’s stated in Acts:
Acts 5:30 (Amplified Bible)The God of our forefathers raised up Jesus, Whom you killed by hanging Him on a tree (cross).31 God exalted Him to His right hand to be Prince and Leader and Savior and Deliverer and Preserver, in order to grant repentance to Israel and to bestow forgiveness and release from sins.
Or as the Apostle Paul put it in Ephesians:
Ephesians 1:20 NIV which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fulness of him who fills everything in every way.
Or in Philippians
Philippians 2:8 (NIV) And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death--even death on a cross! 9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
Or how Peter put it:
1 Peter 3:22 Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.”
Or in Hebrews:
Hebrews 10:12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; 13 From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.”
Or how John put it in Revelation:
Revelation 11:15 (NIV) The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever.” 16 And the twenty-four elders, who were seated on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshipped God, 17 saying: “We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was, because you have taken your great power and have begun to reign.”
When Jesus said that that his disciples would do his works and even greater works, “…because I go unto my father…” that’s what he meant. He wasn’t talking about changing geographic locales, but that all authority in heaven and in earth would be given to him. We could put it this way:
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, becasue the father is giving all things into my hand, because from now on the son of man will be seated at the right hand of power, becaue all authority in heaven and in earth will be given unto me, because I will be exalted to God's right hand to be a prince and savior and deliverer and preserver, becasue I will be raised from the dead and seated at God's right hand in the heavenly realms far above all rule, authority, power, and domion and every title that can be given not only in the present age but also in the one to come, because I will be exalted to the highest place and given a name that is above every name that at my name every knee shall bow of things in heaven and on earth and under the earth, because I will go unto heaven on the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto me, because I will be seated at the right hand of God from thence forth expecting till my enemies are made my footstool…
The disciples of Jesus will be able to do these mighty works of miraculous power because their master is going to be given all authority in heaven and in earth. Jesus was going to be placed in a position of power and authority over all the earth and as a result those who believed on him would be able, in his name, to do his works and even greater works. Jesus was going to be made ruler over all the earth and his disciples would become the instruments, the executors, the putters into effect of his reign. So he says to them, whatever you decree in my name I will do it. (Greater works because the works wouldn’t just be limited to Israel as he had limited his disciples before (Matthew 10:5-6), and as he said he was limited(Matthew 15:24 Ezekiel 3:4-6), but now they could go into all the world and do his works.)
How will they do his works? Using the “all authority in heaven and in earth,” Jesus will be given. What is their badge of authority? The name of Jesus. How do they exercise this authority? The same way they exercised authority while Jesus was still with them, whatever they decree in Jesus name he will do it.
We’ve missed that in this scripture partly because we think Jesus is talking about prayer, but also because we don’t think of Jesus as having any sovreignty in need of implementing, at least not over the real world, at least not now. Oh… we’re doctrinally certain that someday he’ll have sovereignty but we’re equally sure, as sure as the people of Nazareth were on the day Jesus preached in their synagogue, that, that day isn’t today.
There is an epidemic of doubt among Christians, a special form of doubt, the kind which puts everything off into the future. Jesus isn’t waiting to start reigning at some point in the future. He's not just going to start reigning when he returns to the earth. He’s reigning right now, but he reigns through the church, which is his body, which is his fullness, which is his feet under which he has put all things, which he has made the head over all things.
We do the works of Jesus by demanding, by giving orders, by issuing decrees, in Jesus name, as ones authorized by him to implement his sovereignty, his rule, his dominion, his reign, the kingdom of God.
That's what I want to talk about next…
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