I. VERILY, VERILY, I SAY UNTO YOU, "HE THAT BELIEVETH ON ME, THE WORKS THAT I DO, SHALL HE DO ALSO."
A. Jesus is still responding to the request of Philip to show them the Father that they may be sufficed.
1. He had said, that if you had seen Him, you had seen the Father.
2. He asked, "Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me."
3. He then declared that His words were not His own, but the Father's, and that the Father did the works.
4. Then He commanded them to believe that He was in the Father and that the Father was in Him or else believe for the very works' sake.
B. Now he makes this very remarkable statement, that those that believed on Him would do the works that He did, and even greater works because He was going to the Father.
1. This statement creates many questions.
a. In Mark's gospel, chapter 16, after he gave the great commission to His disciples He said, "And these signs shall follow them that believe, in My name they shall cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; if they drink any deadly thing it shall not harm them; they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover."
b. The question is; where are these signs?
2. First of all let it be recognized that Jesus was speaking to the inner circle that He had called to be apostles.
a. In the New Testament days, one of the signs of apostleship was the working of miracles. Paul in defending his apostleship to the Corinthian church declared, "The signs of an apostle were wrought among you in signs, wonders, and great deeds."
b. In his Corinthian letter he also asked, "Are all apostles, are all workers of miracles."
c. Lest we jump to unscriptural conclusions it should be noted that miracles were wrought, by others than just the apostles. Stephen for one, but not all of the believers worked miracles, nor were they expected to.
3. In following the works of the apostles, in the book of Acts, we find that they did indeed do the works that Jesus had done. The lame were made to walk, the blind to see, and the dead were raised back to life.
4. Are the days of miracles over? Did they indeed end with the death of the apostles?
a. I see nothing in scripture that would indicate that the death of the last apostle would bring to an end the miraculous works of Jesus.
b. History seems to record periods of time when miracles were evident in certain segments of the church.
c. There have been scattered reports of confirmed miracles in the church today.
d. I must say that most of those involved in the so-called miracle ministries today leave much to be desired, and many of them have brought into disrepute the true work of God through their charlatanism.
C. The fact that we do not see the evidence of more true miracles today, does not necessarily mean that the days of miracles are over.
1. I would rather fault man than God.
a. The prophet Isaiah said, "The hand of the Lord is not short, that He cannot save, neither is His ear heavy, that he cannot hear, but your sins have separated you from your God.
b. The people were ready to blame God for that lack of the demonstration of God's work in their midst.
2. Throughout the Bible God did manifest His power to man by the working of miracles.
a. He declared that He was the Lord, and He changed not.
b. Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today and forever.
3. We have seen too many miracles in answer to believing prayer to be so foolish as to deny the power of God to work miracles today.
4. In the same token, I must confess that I do not see anyone doing the works of Christ in a truly consistent manner today, much less, greater works.
a. Is it our materialistic society with its prevailing humanistic thought that keeps us from seeing this special work of God?
b. Is it possibly that there is no one that God could truly entrust these gifts to? That He knows the pride of our hearts, and that we would prostitute these gifts to our own gain? Look at how many of the servants of God that He began to use who in turn used those gifts to enrich themselves.
5. We are told that the greater works would be wrought because He was going to the Father. What is the relationship with the greater works and His going to the Father?
a. We know that He is today at the right hand of the Father making intercession for us.
b. In a moment He will be telling them that He will pray to the Father for them that He would send them another Comforter, even the Spirit of truth whom the world could not receive.
c. Peter used the descent of the Spirit as proof that Jesus had ascended to the Father.
d. It was through the power of the Holy Spirit that the apostles worked the miracles among the people.
II. "AND WHATSOEVER YOU SHALL ASK IN MY NAME, THAT WILL I DO THAT THE FATHER MIGHT BE GLORIFIED IN THE SON, IF YOU ASK ANYTHING IN MY NAME, I WILL DO IT."
A. This is a very broad promise indeed, one that many of the "name it and claim it" false prophets have used many times.
1. Again, who is Jesus making this promise to? His disciples, whom He had called to be apostles.
2. What were the requirements of discipleship?
a. If any any man would come after Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me.
b. These words should be written in red across this great promise. The promise was made to those who had denied themselves, to take up their crosses that they might follow Him.
c. It would necessarily follow that you would not be asking anything for yourself, to consume on your own self, for you had denied self.
d. James said that you ask and receive not because you ask amiss, that you might consume it on your own lusts.
B. We see in the book of Acts how in the name of Jesus the same works of Christ were wrought.
1. In Acts 4
when Peter was going into the temple to pray and was accosted by the lame man, He said to him, such as I have give I unto you, in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.
2. Peter said to Aeneas, "Jesus Christ maketh thee whole."
3. In Acts 16
, Paul said to the evil spirit, "I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her."
C. All of the answered prayers were to be to the glory of the Father. "That the Father might be glorified in the Son."
1. As we see the answers to prayer, we are not to glory in the one who prayed for us, but glory in God who answered the prayer.
2. Let your light so shine before men, that when they see your good works they glorify your Father which is in heaven.