Jesus, who claimed to be the "Light of the world", told us to "believe in the light, that we may become sons (and daughters) of light". We come to believe and trust in something or even someone, as we walk in relationship with it (or them). We overcome the darkness, which can overtake us if we stop walking with Jesus, by becoming light, children of light, even the light of the world (see Matt 5:14).
This is important not just for our own wellbeing, our own salvation, but for the glory of God and because he cares about his wayward children. Jesus told us that he came not to be served but to serve (remember on Sunday the invitation to use our freedom to serve one another in love) ... and to give his life as a ransom for many. But Jesus says this specifically as an example we are to follow (see Matt 20:26-28). This is the work to which Jesus calls us after modeling for us what this looks like, it's why he's looking for "workers".
Now this verse might give you the collywobbles! But let’s take a closer look (and for this I am thankful for an old friend and mentor who passed earlier this year, David White);
“Very truly I tell you” - these are Jesus’ words to allay our disbelief and fears. They are like traffic signals in our reading and hearing - what is about to follow might beggar belief, but they are really, totally true is the force of what Jesus means us to hear.
“Whoever believes in me”. This promise is not for the superheroes of the faith (whoever they may be!), but for anyone who believes. Let me ask you... are you a ‘whoever’?
“Will do the works I have been doing”. In Greek “the works” is erga, and the word always means works of power.
“And they will do even greater things than these” - probably meaning on a wider scale (at least geographically).
“Because I am going to the Father”. This might be the most important thing about this verse. He is about to ascend, and from the Father’s right hand he is going to pour out the Holy Spirit (long promised), who will subsequently live in us and be with us for ever. It is he who will enable us to fulfill all that God asks of us. And without him we can do nothing.
Doubt has two arguments it likes to floor us with; • Will God do this? • Can God do this?
But faith replies: God will do it because he has promised in his word; and God can do it because he is all-powerful. There are roughy 17,000 promises of God in the Bible. Knowing these promises and praising God for them will enable us to live by faith. In Eugene Peterson’s words, "we are “to plunge” into God’s word, diving deep, bringing up treasures to live by". Back to the message from Sunday, "Where are you facing?" What do you look at .. what do you focus upon .. where do you put your hope?
Lord, increase our faith that we might do the works prepared in advance for us to the glory of your Name. Amen!
Much love and prayers,