FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
OUR THEME FOR 2011
DOING THE WORKS OF GOD
May 3, 2010
Today’s reading: John 14:6-14
Jesus says: “The Father who dwells in me is doing his works.” (Jn 14:10c). And what were those works? Giving commands to nature that were obeyed, driving out demons, raising the dead. These were works done in the strength of God!
Now Jesus says something astounding. “Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes in me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these, because I am going to the Father.” (Jn 14:12). Wow! Believers will do the very works of Jesus! Thus the apostles drove out demons, and both Peter and Paul raised the dead. Why? Because Jesus went to the Father, that is, he ascended into heaven, leaving the continuation of his work to his disciples, those who believe in him. Jesus commissioned the apostles, and thus all his followers, to proclaim the good news of salvation won on the cross. Believers who respond to Jesus’ call step into his very sandals, and continue with his very work of salvation.
Now Jesus also said that believers will do even greater works than he did. None of his disciples of course can surpass the works of power he manifested during his public ministry. This refers to the greater magnitude of the work. While Jesus did his ministry in a limited geographic area in Israel, his disciples would bring his work to the ends of the earth.
Jesus also said, “And whatever you ask in my name, I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it.” (Jn 14:13-14). What an awesome promise!
Now this is not a case of reciting a formula, ending our prayer of petition with “In Jesus’ name we pray.” What it means to pray in Jesus’ name is that we pray according to the will of God. It is a prayer where what we pray to happen will glorify God through Jesus. It is a prayer of a servant through whom God shows His glory (Is 49:3). It is a prayer for deeds that will greatly exalt Jesus, such that at his name every knee should bend and every tongue confess that he is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Phil 2:10-11). Jesus will grant our prayer asked in his name, to that God may be glorified.
How is God glorified? When all the nations on earth acknowledge Him as Lord and King, and give Him the worship that is His due. How can this happen? It happens as the disciples of Jesus go forth and proclaim the good news of salvation in him, so that those who hear will believe and call on his name, and thus be saved.
We have been called to evangelize and do mission, to be a light to the nations that God’s salvation may reach to the ends of the earth (Is 49:6b). We are called to rapid, massive and worldwide evangelization. We can only be effective if we work in the strength of God.
And so we pray: “Lord, may your strength be our strength. May what we do for the kingdom give glory to you. We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.”
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