In the heat of the moment, it’s easy to lose sight of God’s sovereignty, of his Lordship and endless care for us as our Father. It’s easy to act like you know what you want God to show you instead of allowing him to reveal himself in his own ways.
In this passage, Jesus beseeches us to lean continually on the power of our Father to do his work through us. That’s not to say that we are mere puppets–empty shells that lack form and substance without God living in us–rather Jesus is encouraging us to freely choose to do the work of the kingdom that we have been equipped to do, seeking his guidance always.
This is a way of living out our belief, putting our faith into action.
In times when we are faced with tasks for which we feel completely unequipped, Jesus invites us to ask our Father for help in his name.
What exactly does that mean, to ask in his name?
It is an expression of belief! Because we are essentially asking the Father for whatever we need and saying, “Father, Jesus is your only son, but you have adopted me into your family as an heir, and I believe that even as you gave Jesus everything he needed even to conquer death itself, you can provide everything I need and more to do your will.”
Now, this would be pretty exciting if it just stopped there, with God freely providing everything we need to do the basic day-to-day work of the kingdom. But if we pause and step back a bit and examine verse 12 a little more closely, we read some incredibly exciting, even astonishing words, spoken by Jesus himself, “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.” (ESV)
Did you catch it? “…and greater works than these…”
Hold the phone. What?!
Jesus just said that we are going to do even greater works than him, and in case you’ve forgotten, he’s the son of God and the savior of the world.
That’s good news to us now, nearly two thousand years later. Just imagine what it was like for the disciples to hear this, up-close-and-personal, first-hand witnesses as they were. If I had been Philip in that moment, I’d probably be too astounded to even speak.
In what ways do you say “it is enough for me” to God? How do you try to control your relationship with him, rather than letting him lead?
What is one area of your life that you feel unequipped to face on your own? Is anything preventing you from asking for God’s help in Jesus’ name?
Heavenly Father, thank you for inviting me into your family. Please lead me into a deeper relationship with you, keeping my heart and mind open to the growth and change that you have planned for me. Thank you for giving me gifts and talents with which to serve your kingdom. I want to bring glory to your name with my very existence. Please put me in situations for which I am unequipped so that I can rely on you in ways that put the focus on you. God, you know what situations and thoughts weigh on me. I ask in Jesus’ name for the necessary provisions to face the hardest things of life, trusting that with you dwelling in me, I can do greater works than Jesus. Amen.