Text: John 14:8-14, Title: Wanna Be Greater Than Jesus? Date/Place: NRBC, 5/12/13, AM
A. Opening illustration: The next day, Jimmy asked his grandmother why he wasn't given the same gift as the others in his family. She told him that his father, grandfather and great-grandfather had all been born in February, not in August, as was he. an interview with a medical expert about this bird flu that is spreading around our world. The govt. has already suggested that people should stock a couple of month’s supply of such things as canned tuna and powdered milk. This is not to throw anybody into a panic, but to show people how serious this might be. When asked about numbers, the expert said that it is very possible that up to 90 million people in the U.S. alone may get sick as a result of the bird flu. Possibly half of that number will require hospitalization, and perhaps 2 million will die from it. Now, nobody really knows what will happen, but I got to thinking about it and wondered, “How might the church prepare to respond to this crisis?” What if the only real answer to this sickness was available through prayer, and the power of God? How would we fare? Do we have enough of a sense of awe for God’s awesome power to heal, that we would let Him use us to bring healing to hundreds or possibly thousands of sick people in our community? But let’s move away from such a dramatic situation to the here and now. Do you have enough of a sense of awe for God’s healing power that you have confidence that He wants to heal those who are sick among us today? Jesus healed all the sick who came to Him for healing. He told His disciples that they would do even greater works than He had done.
B. Ignorance of the disciples: close only counts in…
C. 2/3 of a cup of the Trinity: one writer described it as mutual impenetration
D. Main thought: Jesus gives three ways how the work we (His successors) do is greater than Jesus’
A. Because He is going to the Father (v. 18-20)
1. Jesus indicates that the reason that they would do greater works is because His going to the Father would be bringing in a new age. The cross and resurrection would be completed. The necessary requirements for full salvation would be accomplished. People being born again by grace through faith could be actualized. One of the things this means is that the Holy Spirit is coming now to indwell and empower believers for sanctification and service. The church would be unleashed upon a world with a message of salvation with the power to carry it forth. So now rather than one perfect God/man who is full of the Spirit, we will see a dozen, then thousands, then millions, and eventually billions of Spirit-filled believers on this side of the life, death, and overcoming resurrection power of Christ to lay their lives down for their Lord and the world.
2. John 7:39, Rom 7:6, 8:3, Gal 3:23-25, 3:3
3. Illustration: like the boss plugging in the power, stocking up ammo, knocking down the fence, giving orders as he leaves the ranch
4. The gospel sets us free from keeping laws so that we may serve. And the greater works you do rest on the fact that Christ has paid it all. So resist the temptation to return to lists and laws. You don’t have to do this and that to be a “good Christian.” You can never do enough, you don’t have to do enough, it has been done for you. Reflect on that, love Him and believe. He did it, so you could be free from condemnation, and do the same works as Christ, and greater ones in the power of cross. We live the gospel not guilt. We are driven by the gospel, not guilt. Are we convicted of sin by that Spirit, yes. And we repent, and receive grace, which we don’t deserve, and are thankful. If you have believed the Holy Spirit lives inside of you to help you overcome sin, to lead you, and unleash you to serve Christ freely setting others free. Don’t sell yourself short, you are the one to do the greater works.
B. Because we can pray in Jesus’ name (v. )
1. Another reason He says that we will do greater works is that we can now ask for things in His name. They hadn’t done that yet. Before they had asked Jesus for things, and also He had provided things. Now they would be able to approach Him from anywhere at any time without the physical limitations of a body and plead for things necessary to the mission. In His name is not a magical or routine incantation, but an indication that we are asking in the will of God and upon the basis of faith in the shed blood of Christ.