As I am reading in the gospel of Matthew and the many miracles of Jesus, such as healing the sick, delivering from demons, raising the dead and speaking to the natural storms, I am reminded of John 14:12 (NLT) — “I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father.” This is either true or it’s not true. It’s that simple! God’s Word never lies, and it never returns empty of its power to perform. (Num. 23:19; Isa 55:11)
Why is it that we, the church and individual believers, aim so low? Why is it that we claim to believe the Word of the Scriptures, yet pick and choose what seems possible to us? Maybe the answer is found in the disclaimer Jesus gave as to who these “anyones” are that can do the same and greater works. It is to “those who believe in Him”.
Belief is more than intellectual information. James 2:19 tells us the demons believe there is one God, and they tremble. This is the same root word, “pistueo”, used in both verses. We can know a lot of intellectual facts, but they do us no good until we believe them enough that they make a change in the way we conduct our life. There are a lot of prophetic words going out warning us of pending destruction to our nation and other nations, if we do not change our ways. Many even acknowledge these words as truth, yet we do not make any necessary changes of direction in our lives. So, do we really believe if we are not willing to change our actions to conform to the warning? If so, then do we care and what has dulled our hearts to the point that we know truth and ignore it?
Back to the church. We are supposed to be doing the same works that Jesus did when He walked the earth, but in general these works are not seen. If we see miraculous works, they are spattered here and there and not a consistent character of the church at large and the believer as an individual. We “work up” a miracle or a Presence and then celebrate that one event as if it were the grand finale of who we are.
As we look at the verbal tense of “anyone who believes”, we find it is singular meaning literally “any one person” who believes will do these same works. So, in essence we aim low because that does not cost us as much as it is to aim for the target Jesus has said we can truly hit. Why would we do this? Possibly several reasons:
- We won’t pay the price. Psalm 15 tells us that only those who do what is right and speak truth can stand in the Presence of God. A.A. Allen wrote a small book entitled, “The Cost of God’s Miracle Working Power”. There is a price to pay to do the works of Jesus. It will cost everything the world has to offer to follow God in this manner. We have worn out all the power filled Scriptures of declaring our authority, but we have seen little results. Do we even understand what it means to believe in Jesus? True belief means we believe enough to allow that belief to affect our life, our behaviors and our choices. God will entrust His power to those He can trust. The demons of hell have already shown what they do with unbridled power and authority. But there have been a few “anyones” who have walked the earth doing these same works for the Glory of God. What is the price? SELF. Self must go. Too many merchandise God to build a platform for themselves, their church, or their ministry. It is no longer about bringing glory to God, but to man. God must increase and we must decrease!
- We don’t care. Jesus’ miracles were always for the benefit of others. The one self-serving miracle He could have performed was to command the legion of angels down to deliver Him from the cross, yet He chose the will of the Father instead. (Mt. 26:53) Do we care enough about those who are lost, sick and demon possessed around us to choose to walk in the power and authority Jesus speaks of in John 14:12? We get complacent because we are comfortable with our “level of Christianity” and adopt the attitude “let’s just let someone else do it.” What if every professing Christian walked in the fullness of all Jesus has provided? How different would our schools, businesses, government and even churches look? Do we care enough about others to become all we can and do all we can? What if every Christian was healing the sick and casting out demons on their jobs and in our schools? What if every medical professional would first pray a prayer of healing for those who are sick. What if every pastor was teaching their church members that they could go outside of the church and be Jesus to a lost, sick, demon possessed world?
- We don’t believe. Many professing Christians do not believe the Word of God. Do we believe the Scriptures such as John 14:12 are too literal and were only for the chosen few? Do we excuse away what is read in Scripture versus what is seen in the world and in the church? The great dichotomy between what the Scriptures say and what we see in our practical Christianity is explained away as a “misreading” of Scripture. Many theologians would arrogantly laugh at the thought of a Christian doing the same works of Jesus.
Who will we meet today that needs Jesus? Jesus only did what He saw His Father doing. (John 5:19). He was not a Rambo going around performing miracles on a whim. He was directed by the Father, as we should also be directed. He had an intimacy with the Father that directed every step, every miracle, every demonstration of power. This is who we should be.
Will be pay the price? Will we care? Will we believe?