Summary: We need an expanded program. We have to pay an expected price. There’s an explicit promise. It’s for an exalted purpose. How to see God’s explosive power! Link included to formatted text version and PowerPoint.
You read this verse and it looks like Mission Impossible! [theme music]
Good morning, Mr. Phelps!…your mission, should you choose to accept it…
Just before Jesus returned to heaven He charged us to do something which seems impossible…one of the most amazing verses in the Bible.
“Verily, verily” (pay attn.)
“I say…” (means He is putting all His authority behind this statement)
You tell your teen they can’t do something and they say, “who says?” and you say, “I said!”
He that believeth…the works I do shall he do also
(that’s amazing enough)
…and greater works than these shall he do…
(not only equal His works, but exceed them!)
Sounds like mission impossible! And yet, our God, who cannot lie, has said it…
…so, how can we bring ourselves into obedience to this verse? How can we make it a reality, w/out explaining it away? / watering it down? / twisting the meaning?
Let me tell you precisely how we can fulfil that verse:
We need 4 things:
1. Get a vision for an Expanded Program
What did Jesus mean by “greater works”?
He fed 5,000 people w/ a lad’s lunch/walked on water
Joke—methodist/presbyterian/baptist preacher fishing:
Methodist: forgot worms…walked on water to shore, back to boat! (Baptist said: what faith!)/Presbyterian forgot lunch...trotted across the water (Baptist: That’s incredible...I’m in the presence of greatness, but I believe I have faith, too!) He needed the restroom, but stepped out of boat, sunk to bottom!
Methodist looked at Presbyterian and said, “Should we tell him where the rocks are?”!
Will we walk on water? Raise the dead? (how do you top that?)
No, Jesus did not say we’d work greater miracles than He, but that we’d do greater works!
What are the greater works?
Jn. 5:20, 21, 24, 25
Greater than raising someone physically is to raise them spiritually. (greater than physical life is eternal life)
The greater work is salvation…seeing people pass from spiritual death unto spiritual life.
Back to Jn. 4:34—not talking about miracles, but work.
Jesus’ primary work was not walking on water, healing people physically, raising from dead…though He did all of those things.
The primary work Jesus did was to seek and save that which was lost.
10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.
The work of Jesus was to see sinners saved…
…and then He says we will do that too!
But how can we do a greater work than that?
I don’t believe it’s talking about quality, but quantity!
Think about it: more were converted in one day at Pentecost than during the entire earthly ministry of Jesus Christ.
Look at Jn. 4:34, then on to v. 35 – “white unto harvest”
Is He talking about a physical harvest of wheat or a spiritual harvest of souls? A harvest of souls! We need to pray for another Great Awakening!
We can do a greater work than He did, because we’re building upon what He started!
1 The former treatise (what other book did Luke write? Luke!)have I made, O Theophilus, (the awfullest name I ever hoid!) of all that Jesus began both to do and teach…
Jesus BEGAN a work that we are supposed to bring to completion. He BEGAN it in His earthly body, and He will CONTINUE it thru His spiritual body (us!)
Jn. 4:36 “reap wages” = rewards
v. 37-38 Jesus has already sowed (we don’t have to be sowers, but reapers!) It’s like cherry picking to go out into a world that knows it’s lost, and find many who WANT to be found! Granted, Americans all think they are saved, but elsewhere the fields are white!
Read Jn. 4, it’s about the woman at the well…Jesus led her to the knowledge of salvation, then look at what the disciples said in…
And Jesus says, that was nothing compared to what is coming. You think that was marvelous? You are going to reap in fields that have already been cultivated and you are going to do a greater work than I did! You will have the privilege of harvesting multiplied millions of souls!
The fields are white and ready to harvest!
And the darker our world gets, the brighter our light can shine!
To do the greater work that Jesus spoke of we need an expanded vision…of our community, and also around the world!
We need to get a world-wide vision of how to get the gospel to those in other lands!
Jn. 14:12 will not be accomplished by merely focusing on our community. It’s mission impossible to reach the world unless we have a plan of how to reach outside of our city limits!
8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.