MINISTERING IN JESUS’ NAME

Bible Reading: John 14:12-14

I assure you and most solemnly say to you, anyone who believes in Me [as Saviour] will also do the things that I do; and he will do even greater things than these [in extent and outreach], because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in My name [as My representative], this I will do, so that the Father may be glorified and celebrated in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name [as My representative], I will do it” [John 14:12-14 Amp. Bible]

As His representatives, we are called to do what Jesus did and even greater things than He did. We know that Jesus is God, and so the question is, “How can we do greater things than Jesus?” Jesus had just raised a man from the dead – surely we cannot do greater than that. The greater works are not in doing more amazing miracles and teaching than Jesus, but rather in their extent and outreach.

What Jesus did was the pattern for what we are to do, but He was limited to one small geographical area. More people were added to Jesus’ followers on the Day of Pentecost than all those who followed Him during His earthly ministry. Since His death and resurrection His ministry through His representatives has impacted the whole world and brought about transformation in both individuals as well as in whole cultures and societies.

In order for us to do these works Jesus has made available to us all the resources that we need. These are primarily the Holy Spirit and prayer. Jesus said that we would do what He did because He went back to His father [v.12]. As a result the Holy Spirit was given, and His disciples received the power to witness wherever they went [Acts 1:8]. We will take a closer look at the Holy Spirit over the next few days, but without His power we are ineffective.

Jesus also made available to us the resource of prayer. As we serve Jesus we can ask anything in His name and He will do it [v.13-14]. Obviously, in the context of this passage it is to do His will and to glorify Jesus. Our prayers must be in accordance with His will [1 John 5:14] and in faith [Mark 11:22-24]. Many years ago I heard a Jewish rabbi interpret Psalm 37:4 in a very different way to the English translation of the verse. In English it reads, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart” but the rabbi said it might be better interpreted as, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you His desires” The closer we live to God, and the more we delight and abide in Him the more His desires become one with our desires, and the more effective our prayers become.

Questions:

How would you answer someone who said that it was impossible for us to do greater things than Jesus did?

What are the two special promises that you can take from today’s reading?

What do you think that is the meaning of delighting in the Lord? How do you do this?

Why is it that this amazing resource of prayer is so little utilized and used?