From my staff devotion a couple of weeks ago, and it was just a short thought but I never got around to posting, it’s been a busy few weeks. This is not intended to be commentary on this passage, but just some thoughts, reminders
I think some Christian Folks then “Ta Da” should be part of our vocabulary
John 14:12 is often quoted by people with an agenda – Truly I tell you, the one who believes in me will do the works that I do. And he will do even greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 Whatever you ask in my name I will do it 14 … in my name, I will do it
And you read vv15-17 and he promises the coming of the Holy Spirit. Now, remember first that Jesus is about to die. This is Thursday night. And people often quote v12 to say that we should all be doing WONDERS, Miracles, and they even add the verses that follow and say, “if you have the Holy Spirit you should be able to do the miraculous”, they say. But I believe they are missing the point.
Am I supposed to be a “Worker of Wonders” or a Doer of Wonderful Works?
The word is ergon = action, behavior, deeds, effectual labor. Jesus says that those who believe in him will do the action, behavior, deeds, effectual labor, that he does! And it hit me the other day, that John, writing this as an old man, is very selective on the words he uses, led by the Holy Spirit. When John talks about “miracles” he uses semeion = distinguishing mark, miracle, sign – I believe 17 times John uses this word – John uses this word to show us that Jesus is distinguishing himself as the Messiah with these signs. But that is NOT the word here when Jesus is speaking. Jesus is NOT saying that we must, or will, not to say God can’t in us, because anything IN HIS NAME can be done – but that’s not the instruction here. That is not the prophetic word here. The prophetic word here is that those who believe in his name will do the action, behavior, deeds, that he did. What did he do, what was his normal behavior? Love, Tell, Give himself, Sacrifice Self, Obey the Father, Complete the Task, Welcome, Encourage – oh somebody are you with me? Stay with me now. Jesus is saying, IF you believe me, you will do these normal behavioral things.
And then he takes it up a notch and says “even greater than these“. A.T. Robertson points out that the “greater” is in quantity not quality. And that is because in his “leaving” we received the Holy Spirit – John 16:7.
But the “agenda” folks then love that word “whatever” – Yeah – whatever you ask… Let’s go – Yeah – Wait … Look out definer ahead! IN MY NAME – “well what does that mean?” I’m glad you asked – It’s according to his character, his authority, for his glory, in his context, with his contribution of power, according to his plan and purpose. This is not a blank check promise. This is a purposeful promise. If we ask, and the Holy Spirit confirms that we are “in his name” – then YES he WILL do it. And it will be GREAT!
I’ll stop there – Don’t Focus on “Ta Da” – but “To Do what Jesus Does”