The thought is almost overwhelming. It seems so out of reach that I find myself not even trying. In fact, I don’t even try to try. It is simply not possible for me – ME – to do anything like what Jesus did, despite what He promised to His followers:
The truth is, 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.
How can that be possible? The “same works?” “Greater works?” I don’t see it. I don’t see it happening around my city. I don’t see it happening in my life. Nobody seems to be doing anything close to what Jesus did. So I have a problem. Either Jesus lied or I am missing something… I think I’ll go with the “I’m missing something” option. Now what?
So I went back to the beginning of Jesus’ mission as described by Luke in his gospel:
And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read. And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written,
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind,to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
This is what Jesus said of Himself and of His mission. This is the “same works” He was refering to. If it was possible for Him to proclaim good news, or set at liberty the oppressed, it should also be possible, even expected, for me. But the key to making that possible is found in these words, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me.” You see, the same Holy Spirit that indwelt Christ, lives in me. The same access that Jesus had to all the wisdom, power, guidance that the Spirit provided is also available to me. I know it’s easy to say that it doesn’t really apply to us because Jesus was divine. Well, I’ve always understood that while Jesus was on earth, He set aside His divinity (don’t ask me how) and lived as a man, a human. So He had to be dependant on the Holy Spirit just like we do.
This is what is so exciting. I, even I, can live like Jesus, following and listening to the Holy Spirit as He moves in and around my life. I can proclaim good news as I write my blog, teach on Sunday morning, lead devotionals with a group of teenagers, have lunch with a co-worker. It is possible to help those oppressed and burdened by the enemy or by their past or fears find liberty. I can be the one who can bring sight to the blind – spiritually or physically. All these things are possible, not because I have some special power or am exceptionally holy, but because the Holy Spirit lives in me. All I need to do is listen. The poor, the captives, the blind, the oppressed are all around me and Jesus continues to speak into their lives, He’s just chosing to use me to do it. All I can say is, “Wow!”
Oh wait, one more thing! He’s chosen you too. Listen…the Holy Spirit is talking to you.