“I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!”
Sometimes having a great player can actually make the whole team worse. What happens on the basketball court or in other team sports is that teammates stand around watching the one great player do his thing, but no one else contributes very much. The star may make a few big shots, but if the rest of the team feels like they aren’t good enough, the whole team suffers. A wise coach will instill confidence in every player, even the ones who spend most of the game on the bench. If you are following this analogy, you may have figured out that Jesus is our star player. And He’s also the coach!
Jesus does everything great, and it would be tempting for the disciples – and for us – to just stand around watching him do great things. Jesus knows, however, that building his kingdom is a team sport. Each of his followers needs to contribute, even in little ways, to make the whole kingdom grow and flourish. That’s why Jesus told the disciples that they would be able to do “the same works” that Jesus did. In fact – and this ranks as one of Jesus’ most remarkable statements – his followers will do “even greater works.” Those words apply to us too. Because Jesus ascended into heaven and sent the Holy Spirit to live in our hearts, we are able to accomplish the same sort of things Jesus did. Teaching God’s word. Sharing the good news. Showing compassion to people in need. Performing miracles. Standing up for truth and righteousness in a broken world. Jesus did all those things, and so can we. How? By asking in Jesus’ name.
Here’s another remarkable promise from Jesus. We can ask for anything in his name, and He will provide it. Now, let’s be clear about what that means. In order to ask for something in the name of our Lord, what we ask for must align with his will. Praying “in Jesus’ name” isn’t like saying magic words that force God to give us what we want. Instead, what we ask for must fall within his will, be consistent with his character and help fulfill the mission He gave us. We can do “even greater works” so long as those works follow Jesus’ teaching and his plan for building the kingdom. Then, the sky’s the limit! Ask for the Spirit’s mighty power. Ask for miracles. Ask for wisdom and strength to do great things for God’s glory. For 2,000 years, the church has carried on the ministry Jesus started. In his name, we will continue to do great things.
Father, You have a perfect plan of salvation for Your world. Thank You for sending Jesus as our Savior and for empowering Your people to do mighty things in His name. Give me courage to join with other believers in sharing Your love and message with those in need. I ask this in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Pastor Mike Mirakian