June 16th, 2023

John 20:29 CSB – Jesus said (to Thomas), “Because you have seen me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.”

John 14:12 CSB – Truly I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do. And he will do even greater works than these because I am going to the Father.

The first verse is one of my favorite verses in all of scripture. Jesus makes a distinction between the people that saw him and knew of his ministry while he was on Earth and believed, and the folks that would come to believe after he left Earth having not seen him. In the second part of the first verse, he’s giving all of us a promise. A promise that we will be blessed because we believe, not having seen him in the flesh, and only hearing about him from the testimony of others and through his holy word. To me, that acknowledges a greater level of faith required by future believers, which also serves as an assurance that I have at least the faith of an apostle, folks who had seen and believed.

And then Jesus tells us that since we believed, either by sight or by faith, we will go on to do even greater works than he himself did. A little later in John 14, he says “I will not leave you as orphans; I am coming to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me. Because I live, you will live too. On that day you will know that I am in my Father, you are in me, and I am in you.” This is part of the promise of the Holy Spirit indwelling within those who believe in Christ. We will do greater things than Jesus, not because of our own faith and belief and effort, but because of the power of the Father working directly through us via his Holy Spirit. 

Because we believe, the Holy Spirit, the essence of God himself, lives within us, to empower us to do his will, so that we continue the work that Jesus started. How amazing is it that he picked us, broken, hurting people, to continue his mission? And not only did he pick us, but he also gave us abilities and talents so that we would excel at specific things so that our work would have more of an impact on Christ’s kingdom. I can hardly fathom his perfect plan to help imperfect believers carry out kingdom work, but I’m thankful for it.