What’s Holding You Back?

I assure you that whoever believes in me will do the works that I do. They will do even greater works than these…” John 14:12

Really, Jesus?  Greater works than you?  I know Jesus says a lot of shocking and alarming things in his ministry, but this may be the most shocking.  Jesus tells his disciples (those who choose to follow him) that they will do even greater things than he did.  Can you believe that?  Maybe the question should be, DO you believe that?

We hold Jesus in the highest regard.  He is the revelation of God with us, for us.  He shows us what it is to be truly human and he exemplifies God’s love for us in his life, death, and resurrection.  Jesus’ teachings form our moral understandings as well as our ethical understandings of not just caring for the poor and the outcast but forming relationships with them.  We claim to have faith in what Jesus said and did, but how many of us believe that we can not only do the work that Jesus did, but maybe even do greater?  That seems sacrilegious.

We are taught from an early age that we should have faith in Jesus – that’s true and that’s good.  What I find most compelling is the amount of faith that Jesus has in us.  Jesus calls us to be his physical presence in the world.  That’s a big responsibility and a huge show of faith on his part.  I mean, he spent time with his disciples.  They weren’t exactly ‘A’ students, yet these are the ones he is talking to.  I can imagine after seeing Jesus walk on water and feed huge crowds with nothing more than a happy meal that they too would doubt their abilities to do “even greater things.”  

I doubt my own abilities: my ability to be compassionate enough, my ability to discern God’s work, my ability to involve other people in God’s work, and my ability to maintain focus and drive.  Deep down I have a fear that who I am and what I have to offer isn’t good enough.  I don’t have enough faith.   So, naturally I have a hard time believing this scripture.

What would it take to be formed into a type of person that believes 1) God is at work in the world; 2) God sends God’s people to be involved in that work; and 3) I am one of those people.  What would need to change that would serve as the catalyst for action?

Seeing others live with this kind of faith inspires me. It is in friends reaching out to their physical neighbors in times of sorrow and crisis, people empowering communities and economies to provide clean drinking water in Haiti, and a man forming a most unlikely friendship and exemplifying the presence of grace of God.  These are the places where I find strength for the journey.  In the people who embody the compassionate love of Christ and believe that they have been sent into this world with purpose and presence.

I assure you that whoever believes in me will do the works that I do. They will do even greater works than these…” John 14:12

So, what is it that’s holding you back?

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