|Do you believe in Jesus? If you do, do you believe
him when he said: "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me,
the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do"?
(John 14:12 NKJV) That's a tall one considering the miracles he did. I
believe in Jesus, but I haven't healed anybody from palsy, and I haven't
cast out any demons, and I haven't raised anybody from the dead.
Admittedly, Jesus was speaking to the apostles
when he said those words, and in fact the Acts of the Apostles records
instances of healing and even of resurrections. But although we can say that they
did the same works that Jesus did, is it possible to say that they did
Jesus did great things, but there was a greater
thing that he was reserving for his disciples. That greater thing is a
lesson in matters of relative importance, for greatness in our eyes is
not necessarily the same as greatness in God's eyes.
Shortly after Jesus' ascension, the disciples gathered
together in one place. All those who had committed themselves to his teachings
and as witnesses to his resurrection were there, including the apostles.
After his years of miracles and preaching, and even after his resurrection,
"the number of names together were about one hundred and twenty." (Acts 1:15)
Considering the multitudes that Jesus had encountered
during his ministry, and all that he had done in their presence, a total
following of 120 followers is not all that impressive and is certainly not enough
to shake the world. Yet from this mustard seed beginning a mighty work
was launched and shortly thereafter thousands came to a knowledge of their
sins and accepted the way of redemption.
Surely that is a great work!
Since those days the gospel has been preached on
every continent. The Bible has been translated into virtually every language.
Followers of Jesus are found from Alaska to Zimbabwe, often enduring persecution
and death for their faith in the Carpenter from Nazareth. The greater works
of which Jesus spoke does not of necessity mean more healings or mass resurrections
from the dead. In God's eyes it is the greater thing to bring many sons
unto glory, and that is precisely what the apostles did.
Excerpted from The
Sabbath Morning Companion, May 13, 2005, by Lenny Cacchio.
Editors note: This essay was originally run in Vol. IV Issue 6