Summary: Jesus told Phillip that we would do greater works than Jesus did. If that’s really the case…where are the works; how come we’re not seeing miracles?
Answers to questions range from boring to embarrassing, depending on whom you ask. If you ask kids questions, you never get boring!
HOW DO YOU DECIDE WHO TO MARRY?
You got to find somebody who likes the same stuff. Like, if you like sports, she should like it that you like sports, and she should keep the chips and dip coming. -- Alan, age 10
No person really decides before they grow up who they’re going to marry. God decides it all way before, and you get to find out later who you’re stuck with. -- Kristen, age 10
HOW CAN A STRANGER TELL IF TWO PEOPLE ARE MARRIED?
You might have to guess, based on whether they seem to be yelling at the same kids. -- Derrick, age 8
WHAT DO YOU THINK YOUR MOM AND DAD HAVE IN COMMON?
Both don’t want any more kids. -- Lori, age 8
And the all-time favorite:
HOW WOULD YOU MAKE A MARRIAGE WORK?
Tell your wife that she looks pretty, even if she looks like a truck. -- Ricky, age 10
There is a question that nags us about our text. Jesus told Phillip that we would do greater works than Jesus did; that spawns a whole series of questions about exactly what Jesus meant by that. The chief question that we really want to avoid even asking whenever this comes up is:
If that’s really the case…where are the works; how come we’re not seeing miracles?
The reason we want to avoid that question is because we’re Methodists, reasonable people; we’re refined, informed and reformed. We don’t get too radical in our Christianity; just give me a little church on Sunday and I’ll be alright. Don’t stir up too much here.
The problem with answering the question is that it unravels a dirty little secret in the Christian family that we’d just as soon not talk about…
In the miracles department, we’re a little stunted! We are the runts of the miracle-litter!
Well, painful as it might be to roll around in that mud puddle, allow me to deal with the question today. Let me give you the short answer first; then we can deal with how to do something about the problem.
The short answer about why we (that includes anybody in the Christian family) are stunted in the miracle department is that we have lost sight of what God requires in order to be spiritually-strong. We have misplaced our spiritual-growth hormone! We have settled for artificial spiritual steroids like money, influence and leisure. We prefer the American dream to Heaven’s standards!
In short…there is so much of the world in the church we could get into a mud-slinging contest, and not look any different when the day is done!
Well, preacher, that won’t help me sleep tonight. What are we going to do about this miserable truth? I’m glad you asked. The church is no different today than when Jesus established it two-thousand years ago. Heaven is still sweet, Hell is still hot, Sin is still wrong, no matter what the world says and does…and the promises of God are still true, without change or question.
If we are going to deal with the church’s dirtiest little secret in our own lives, we will have to do it by accepting what the Lord offers as a remedy. His remedy is peace!
The one thing that sets believers apart (or should) from those who reject Christ, is genuine, Heaven-sent, soul-cleansing, life-altering peace! Where I come from, that’s not a bad little bit of medicine.
Unfortunately peace is perhaps the best-kept secret of the Christian family; it is also the least-experienced fruit of the Spirit. As a rule most believers do not experience peace; we do not live in it; we certainly don’t exhibit it to the world at large. The world doesn’t see us as peace-filled people; we appear as fighting, condemning, up-tight and sour as an unripe persimmon.
We’re stunted in God’s miracle department because even though we have declared ourselves as disciples of the Prince of Peace, it sounds empty when we say it; dirty little Christian secret, indeed!
Now, it’s not all bad news this morning. Yes, Virginia, there is an open door to the peace that passes understanding. Let’s use the acrostic “PEACE” this morning to discover help for growing out of the spiritual “runt” stage, and becoming strong warriors of the faith, clothed in peaceable fruit.
Let’s keep our Bibles open to John 14 and see what the letters in the word “peace” tell us to do about growing strong as believers who do the great works Jesus said He wants us to do…
I. PART WITH UNBELIEF
8Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.” 9Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but the Father who dwells in me does his works. 11Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves. 12Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. 13I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it.