Who Do You Think You Are?
If we’re honest most of us live life with a pretty dim opinion of ourselves. Sure there are moments when we’re proud of some of our accomplishments – when our kids earn the respect of their teachers, when a project we’re part of at work is a success, when we actually stick to our diets for more than one day.
But before long it seems like we’re inevitably lulled back into the daily nagging of self-doubt.
Jesus surprised his forever-doubting disciples with this statement in John 14:12 – “…Anyone who has faith in me will do what do what I’ve been doing. He will do even greater things than these,…”
I think the immediate response to his statement is, “How? How can we possibly do greater things than you did, Jesus?”
First we have to begin to understand that the hallmark of a believer is that we live in world we’re not fully part of – that a portion of our lives are hidden in an unseen realm (Colossians 1:13).
God spoke through the prophet Haggai and prophesied of a time when the glory of the coming temple would be greater than the glory of the former one (Haggai 1:9). One might ask, “What could be more glorious than God’s presence dwelling in the temple?” The answer is God’s presence dwelling in you!
Hundreds of years after Haggai prophesied these words Paul wrote about the fulfillment of this prophecy in the life of the believer. He stated, “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you…?” (1 Corinthians 6:19).
The profound mystery of God’s power to remove sin from us and his willingness to unite himself with us in Spirit is something that should humble us all.
But while we may be able to comprehend these concepts intellectually, the conclusions that can be drawn from this reasoning can be very difficult to believe.
Both Paul and Peter write of the difficulty of accepting the truth of God’s righteousness now living in us.
In Romans Paul calls the reality of righteousness by faith a “stumbling stone” (Romans 9:33), and it’s no wonder. The truth that because Christ now lives in us we as believers can enjoy a constant state of righteousness before God is hard to swallow.
But if we want to receive the benefits that this truth affords and step into doing the “greater things” that Jesus prophesied we would, we have to persuade our hearts of the truth.
What does that look like? When we begin feeling like a failure, struggling, wondering if we’re doing enough to make a difference, or questioning whether we’ll ever get over our problems, we remind ourselves that because of Jesus God sees me as perfect like him in my inmost being.
Jesus never called the qualified. He qualified the called. And because of the confidence he had in his own ability to fulfill his destiny, he could say with assurance to all of us – “You’ll do even greater things than me.”