“Truly, I tell you, whoever believes in Me will also do the works that I am doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” (John 14:12)
A few weeks ago we talked about “normal Christianity” – about how God’s vision for His Church was laid out for us in Her earliest days (as described by Luke in the Book of Acts). The early Church was most characterized by their love for God, their devotion to Jesus, their community with each other, and by God “showing up” through their lives (especially, but not exclusively, the apostles). In fact, in one of the most poignant summaries of the early Church, these are the defining words: “And abundant grace was upon them all.” (see Acts 4:32-34)
God’s grace is poured out to us, but it was never meant to stay there (within us). It was also meant to do something within us so it could flow out through us (impacting other people with God’s grace).
When we really look at Jesus’ words in John 14:12… this is exactly what He was trying to say to us. Jesus did not just come as the Master – He came to also be the Model of what we are all meant to be. He came to show us what being full of grace and truth could do – and to tell us that what we saw in Him was not exclusive.
Jesus came to open the doorway for “whoever believes” to become just as He was.
In fact, this is exactly how Jesus, Himself, defined discipleship: “It is enough (fully sufficient) for a disciple to be (just) like his teacher, and a servant (just) like his master…” (Matt. 1025a) Jesus came to make full “carbon copies” of Himself, in every way possible. This is not exceptional Christianity… it is normal Christianity! Available not just to the super-spiritual or a privileged few… but to “anyone who believes in Me…” It is what every true, devoted disciple is called, and fully enabled, to be!
This is the all-sufficiency of God’s grace…
How would our lives change if we really believed that the works that Jesus did we were also capable of doing? What could be done through us if we really understood the grace of God flowing in us and through us?
Jesus came to tell us the truth: “with men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matt. 19:26) Last I checked, the whole point of becoming a Christian was so that God could come to be with us… and live within us.
In most cases, our faith will not surpass our understanding. If we do not understand that God saved us so He could do His amazing work through us, then we will really struggle to walk in “normal Christianity.” Grace will not have the fullness of its intended effect upon our lives. God will not be as glorified as He should be through us.
But Jesus came to tell us about all that we could be if we would just believe… first in Him, and then in the all-sufficiency of God’s grace poured out for us.