You know, for me, one of the most intriguing promises Jesus ever made was this: "I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father." John 14:12
Jesus said I will be able to do even "greater things" than He had done in His earthly ministry.
Jesus healed people, fed thousands with just a little bit of food, walked on water, calmed the storms and raised the dead.
Now I can do many things... but I can't do any of that stuff. And here Jesus is saying I can do even greater things that these. How could I possibly do "greater things" than what Jesus did?
Well, the book of Acts teaches us that neither Jesus nor angels ever led anyone to salvation. The Blood of Jesus saved people, but Jesus never led anyone to salvation.
There's the story of Paul on the road to Damascus in Acts 9.
There's this bright light, the voice of Jesus, and Paul asking Him "what must I do." Right then Jesus could have saved him, but instead he sends him on to Damascus with instructions to wait there until a man came to tell him "...what you must do." Acts 9:6
Three days later, a man named Ananias came and told Paul his sins had not yet been washed away and commanded: "And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name." Acts 22:16
Jesus COULD have led Paul to salvation, but He didn't.
He left that grand task to an obscure man named Ananias.
Why? Because "greater things" we're allowed to do than He did.
Then there's the story of the Ethiopian Eunuch in Acts 8.
An angel comes to a deacon named Philip and tells him to go and teach this Ethiopian about Jesus. When this man from Ethiopia becomes convinced of his need for Jesus, he asks "Look, here is water. Why shouldn't I be baptized?" Acts 8:36
The Angel could have led the Ethiopian to Christ, but he didn't. He left that for a mere deacon. Why? Because "greater things" are we allowed to do than even Jesus did.
Related Sermon Illustrations
Contributed by Greg Buchner on Oct 11, 2004
“A 2 a.m. Miracle” – Joni Eareckson Tada It was 2 a.m. and Ken, my husband was snoring softly beside me, not aware that I was biting my lip to keep from waking him up. The combination of my paralysis with middle-of-the-night insomnia always makes me feel claustrophobic. But this was different. ...read more
Contributed by Brad Bailey on Aug 3, 2004
Max Lucado, in his book, “Six Hours One Friday,” tells the story of a missionary in Brazil who discovered a tribe of Indians in a remote part of the jungle. They lived near a large river. The tribe was in need of medical attention. A contagious disease was ravaging the population. People were dying ...read more
Contributed by Mike Wilkins on Feb 21, 2005
I mentioned Brian McLaren’s book “A Generous Orthodoxy” last week. The chapter after “Would Jesus Be a Christian” is titled, “Jesus, Savior of What?” In this chapter he argues that while Jesus did come to save us as individuals, we in the west have placed such a strong emphasis on personal ...read more
Contributed by Robbie Shivar on Jun 4, 2004
30% of an average person’s anxiety is focused on things about the past that can’t be changed. If we were honest with ourselves, we all would say that there is something in our past that we regret doing and ...read more
Contributed by Sam Mccormick on Aug 14, 2017
God's grace as the avenue of salvation is sometimes seen as being in conflict with obedience of the believer as a requirement, without which salvation cannot be obtained. Which is it, or is it a combination? Can this dichotomy be satisfactorily resolved?