“Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in Me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” John 14:12
As the time neared for my mother to leave this earth and enter heaven she said something precious to me, “I am ready to go. I just don’t want to leave my family behind. I wish we could just all go together.” I have played those words over and over in my mind. How many times have others thought the same thing? A soldier being deployed overseas…a husband called away for work…a parent watching a child leave home…If you love your family there is no one you hate to leave more than them.
For three years, Jesus’ family had been the twelve disciples. He had spent more time loving them, teaching them, and discipling them than anyone else in His life. No one can love family more than Jesus loved His, yet He left them behind. He could have said, “Let’s all go to heaven together,” and taken them with Him, but He didn’t. Have you ever wondered why?
Jesus did great and amazing things throughout His earthly ministry. He raised the dead to life, walked on water, fed thousands with one serving of food, and healed the sick, just to name a few. Yet in John 14:12 Jesus said that those who believe in Him would perform even greater works. How could that be? This is not a reference to the works being greater in power. No one has ever exceeded the power or majesty of Jesus’ miracles. So how could His faithful followers do greater works?
Without a doubt, the works of Jesus’ followers would be greater in scope. Christ’s earthly ministry was largely limited to Galilee and Judea. His disciples, however, were going to extend His ministry to the uttermost parts of the earth. When Jesus ascended into heaven, His followers numbered in the hundreds. Forty days later, in response to the Holy Spirit-filled preaching of His apostles, that number skyrocketed into the thousands. Before long the gospel was being preached in Rome! And today it is being proclaimed throughout the world.
Jesus went up and the Holy Spirit came down so that we could go out and be witnesses to a world that needs to be brought into the family of God. When the Holy Spirit is unleashed in the life of a believer, all things are possible. When we boldly proclaim the truth about Jesus Christ – that which we have personally experienced – the Holy Spirit’s power is unleashed through our lives.
Dear Father, how grateful I am that your Holy Spirit lives in me. Help me to remember the power I have because of the Holy Spirit and give me the boldness to use that power for your glory. In Jesus' name, amen.