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Mike,

"Do you believe that you can do the same works Jesus has done, and even greater works?"

I think after a little Greek lesson :) you might feel better about yourself in regard to these verses.

In John's gospel when he refers to miracles or Jesus explicitly (and clearly) talks about miracles it is translated "signs" or "wonders".

The Greek word for sign is: "Semeion" meaning a sign, mark, token that by which a person or a thing is distinguished from others transcending the common course of nature.

For "wonders it is: "Teras" meaning portent miracle.

Neither word is used here in Chapter 14 of John. So what the heck is Jesus talking about?

In John when people talk about doing the works of God or Jesus talks of "work" the works of the Father - the Greek word is: "Ergazomai" meaning to work, labour to acquire. This word is also not the one used in John 14.

The word for "works" in John 14 in these verses is "Ergon" meaning business, employment, that which one undertakes to do.

People get caught up in miracles, and I believe (like Bob does) that miracles are a secondary issue. Something that Jesus is not talking about in John 14.

Note Bob's point:
"The “high road” is to simply believe in what Jesus has said. The “lower road” is to believe what He has said because of the miracles He has done."

In the Gospel of John, Jesus continually says he is about His Father's business - 'doing what his Father sent him to do.'

John 14:12
"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." - your translation

I like the NIV better in this case.

John 14:12
"I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father." NIV

The disciples and we followers of Christ are to do what Christ was doing. Going about His Father's business. What business? The business of Salvation - redemption.

Can you do it in a greater manner than Jesus? Let's see- Jesus when He was on earth had a localized ministry. How many people can Jesus have personally worked with in 3+ years?

Mike your reach has exceeded Jesus, not only with your missions trips, work in New Orleans, but this blog is possibly worldwide.

In a normal lifespan, you may exceed the number of people reached for Christ than Christ himself. How many people have you led to Christ? How many seeds have you planted? If Christ had not gone to the Father, thus leading to your receiving the Holy Spirit - this would not have happened. That is why He had to go. For the sake of the apostles and our sake.

I think you vastly underestimate yourself in regards to this verse (John 14:12) :)

[Note: Of course in the near term to these passages, the apostles and their disciples absolutely went beyond Jesus in the Father's business. Forget the miracles they performed, the far flung spreading of the Gospel, the writings, the establishment of churches, and the huge number of converts laid the foundation for the Christianity of today.]


John 14:13-14

"And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it."

Since I am into a Greek kick - I would like to look at these passages.

Two words - "ask" and "in are key to these verses.

"ask" is Gk. "aiteo" which can also be translated "require".

"in" is "en" with the idea of being immersed in or "in the midst" of the object
(name).

So there are really three conditions to a successful prayer request:

1) ask or require something
2) while being immersed in his name (abide in Him and He in you)
3)that the Son may bring glory to the Father.

The asking and glory are in aorist tense - so they are completed action without respect to the time they are completed. The asking will or has occured and the Glory has been given.

Christ repeats himself in the next verse (for emphasis?) leaving out the glory part. The problem is with the word "anything". To me the Gk. translation of "tis" would be better if it was a "certain thing". People get the wrong idea if they see "anything" here in this verse.

However "anything" or a "certain thing" will be granted if you ask/require it while being immersed in Jesus. The idea being - you will not make foolish requests if you are truly abiding in Him and He in you. And of course the unspoken part is it must bring Glory to the Father.

Mephibosheth's nurse was one any mother would want to have take care of her son.A 5year old can be a burden to carry when you are running away from danger.There was also no prize at the end of the race because Mephibosheth had nothing to give anymore.His nurse's devotion in the light of all the fights and murderings chapter truly is refreshing.
There was a time Michal loved David.When David became a fugitive he got other wives,Michal became wife to a man who loved her.In deutronomy 24,there's a part that speaks about a woman who's husband had sent her away not being allowed to marry her again if she had married another.True David had not divorced Michal but neither did he make any attempt to keep her AND now she was married to another man(who cried and wept when she was taken away).Maybe behind the disdain in Michal was pain,hurt.David claimed to be dancing for the Lord yet he hadn't asked God before separating Michal or marry dozens of wives some of which were Israelites.
Sometimes I watch people go all "spiritual" dancing,rasing holy hands etc before the Lord in church then after church(or still in church after the worship)behave nasty...then I wonder if truly they had worshipped God or simply enjoyed a good tune in church.Michal may have kept household gods but David sure did nothing to boost her faith in God by his actions.

"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you MUST love one another. 35By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."
The way we treat others who are our brothers and sisters...the way we treat people in general preach louder sometimes than empty words we say rather than practice.I work in a mostly haotic environment where trying to answer many impatient people at once can really be a challenge.Many times I try to keep in mind that I ought to be light(my unsaved collegues sometimes act really nasty)...sometimes I fail and have a guilt party.Once a lady met me at a christian conference and hugged me saying she had come to my place of work and I was so kind and patient to her that she was certain I was a christian,seeing me at a christian conference confirmed it.
So many times it's hard to understand that people come from different backgrounds,cultures etc and I get my patience stretched thin...it's always good to note the world is watching us as followers of Chirst.Our ways may lead others to Christ,make already existing christians stumble or worse give the world yet another reason to despise Christ.I pray we all be filled with love for God and one another.
God bless you all

Greater works....I have grown to have a lot more knowledge of the bible in the past 4months,I have been convicted of many issues and (I hope)have been transformed to be more like my dad and big brother in heaven.If this is true for the 2000+ people reading this blog and they in turn share with others what they have recieved then truly we together are doing greater works....some are cutting up pieces of meat for others,some are making sure we stick to studying the bible,some make us smile as we read the posts and get encouraged...like John once told me,....Mike I'm sure God's proud of you...and everyone here...
God bless you all

Mike, the 1st part you spoke about brought to mind the ethics class I just finished. What you wrote is definitely Kantian, but then I think of people like the Ten Booms, Dietrck Bonhoffer, and people in the French resistance who took Jews by boat to England and if they were stopped by the SS had to lie, who disobeyed the government and even lied to its officials. Am I corrupting myself when I truly do lie for a GOOD cause. I know I'm opening a can of worms, but I wanted to see what everyone thought

Anka's insight to David being insensitive to his wife Michal is a view I hadn't considered. I am convinced that our love for God is reflected in how we treat one another, espcially our loved ones. While David was certainly right to celebrate for the Lord, he dismissed Michal pretty quickly despite his long abscence (or maybe we just don't have the whole story).
As for doing great works, as Jesus states in the NT reading today, I would have to say that what we consider 'great' and what God considers 'great' could be two different things. Some of us have more humble stations in life and by our standards it may no be great, but if you are obediant to God and love as God loves then we are doing great things. As Oswald Chambers reflected on in his daily devotional "My Utmost for His Highest", if we lead lives in obediance to God, then we produce rivers of living water. Where that water goes to is not our business. In other words, one person you are kind to or share your faith with may go on to be the next Billy Graham or Pope John Paul II therefore affecting millions more. These are the great works I think Jesus talks about in today's reading.
Have a good one.
Jim

loved the picture of the young folks praising with guitars...

jb

Can anyone think of a better verse than Psalm 119:32 where it says, "I run in the path of your commands for you have set my heart free." Jesus said, if the Son shall set you free you shall be free indeed. (John 8:31-36) and He also said, If you continue in my Word you are truly my disciples and the truth shall set you free.
Freedom comes from being like the person James wrote about in James 1:25 'who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and CONTINUES TO DO THIS, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it--he/she will be blessed in what he does."
Another great verse we read recently in Psalm 107:20 was where it says, "He sent forth his word and healed them..." So many choose to live in bondage, even in bondage to their religious systems. Their religious systems become 'God' to them more than the refreshing teaching, living word of Jesus. No wonder Paul exhorted the colossians in 3:16 "Let the word of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God."

I don't know about anyone else but I want to keep on running in the path of His commands, for He is forever setting our hearts free. "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery." Gal. 5:1

Yes, I believe that Jesus/God/Holy Spirit has a very very good sense of humor; for instance the end of April I went to a small conference at the Vineyard Church here in OKC & heard Bobby Connor speak that night. It stormed really bad that night & we prayed really hard for it not to hit the church where we were gathered & God honored those prayers but not so over some of Oklahoma that night.

Anyway, during the praise & worship I saw a young man on the front row praising & worshipping the Lord with abandon & it touched my heart so that I began to focus all my prayer on my 23 yo son, that one day soon I would get to see him praise & worship the Lord with abandon too (for sure before I go home to be with my Lord).

When Bobby Connor was teaching/preaching, he told us that most times God gives him a sign in regard to something is is praying about...supernatural signs & wonders & some of them are really odd/strange.

SO...the next day when I was in a Sales Meeting at work, the phone rang & the receptionist answered it & called me out of the meeting & said something had happened to my apartment; so I called the apartment office & she said that someone had run into our apartment with their car!!! It was in my son's room right at the head of his bed & knocked the bed & nightstand forward & picture off the wall. My son had gone to work earlier in the morning so he wasn't in his room/bed when it happened or he might have been injured really bad.

To make a long story short...when I came home that evening from work, of course I surveyed the damage & it was a huge huge crack in the wall from ceiling to floor...a huge Word Picture for sure!!! I ask the Lord what happened here & this is what I hear Him say, "BREAKTHROUGH!"

I was so excited I was beside myself with joy. I will always have that beautiful Word Picture stamped in my memory/hard drive & that lovely voice of His with excitement too. That was my sign for my prayers also (especially in regard to my 23 yo son)...BREAKTHROUGH in his/son's room & in both of our lives.

I am so glad that God has a very very good sense of humor, He sure made me laugh instead of cry that day.

They have finally sheet rocked the huge crack/breakthrough, but not taped & bedded yet inside the room & have not fixed the brick on the outside of the wall. There is scaffolding still there holding up the brick.

Yes, I have danced with abandon more than once before the Lord like David...but not enough. Have done it public & private...public is the hardest, but corporate dancing/worship is so powerful in the Spirit realm...worshipping in Spirit & Truth is so awesome & free in Him.

jan

John 14:6

"I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." NIV

The famous passage from a Kempis' Imitation of Christ is often quoted in connection with the Lord's statement here.

"Follow thou me. I am the way and the truth and the life. Without the way there is no going; without the truth there is no knowing; without the life there is no living. I am the way which thou must follow; the truth which thou must believe; the life for which thou must hope. I am the inviolable way; the infallible truth, the never-ending life. I am the straightest way; the sovereign truth; life true, life-blessed, life uncreated." [56.1]

Two things:
1) Ego eimi - I AM - I have tried to point out the many times this occurs in John - not just the famous "seven". In Greek this can be expressed in one word - like many foreign languages the ending of "eimi" would itself indicate "I". The fact that a personal pronoun, "ego", is used is to make Great emphasis on the statement.

2) I have mentioned the book "Dinner with a Perfect Stranger" by David Gregory and the companion DVD "The Perfect Stranger" (roughly an hour). Since I am a Christian for only two years, I tend to focus on the Bible instead of outside Christian books - but this book is excellant. Not just for a Christian, but as an evangelical tool. It is faithful to the Bible, and the response by others has been enthusiastic, and it has opened the door for many conversations regarding Christ.

In it, Jesus has dinner with an attorney who is skeptic/detached from God. Set in a modern day restaurant and the story is told in a warm persoanl manner.

In the book and the movie, Jesus says (paraphrase):

'there is no road to Heaven.'.....

...a road implies someone can get on it, and by their own feet and knowledge can find their way to Heaven (GOD)....

...but their is a "way".

I can not recommend this book enough.

John 14:7
"If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him." NIV

Lastly, once again John uses the Gk. "ginosko" for the translated word "know". It is repeated over and over again in John and other Gospels. "Ginosko" is that intimate personal knowledge that is symbolized by the coupling of man and wife - two become one.

The NIV here tries to bring out that aspect by saying: "really know"

Do you "know" Jesus, not "know, but "REALLY know"????????

I will take a different take on sense of humour subject. Sense of humour is a very vague and over-lapping subject. I think devil has great sense of humour in the sense it can titillate and stimulate our senses... Dark humour/ Black humour/ slapstick humour/ Earthy Humour that is overflowing in all media.... is what that can really make us laugh.

But then I wonder whether we should put boundaries on humour and tag it strictly as godly or ungodly... ? Humour is mysterious really. Say, if someone slips on the floor and tumbles to a fall, it may appear as funny. But it actually may result in a grave injury to the fallen. So, what is so funny about it! ? :-)

So, humour is one of those things that belong to the mystery realm. By the way, one can be amazed to trace funny dark humour in various parts of OT. I guess it is there for a purpose. ;-)

Sorry to be so verbose today; just so much meat!


Recab and Baanah: They thought they were going to find favor with David, the King, because they believed they were supporting his position as Israel's king. Isn't it interesting how when we take up an offense for someone, we end up being the "bad guy?" I think that is why police do not like involve themselves in "domestic quarrels," because likely as not, the spouse they try to protect will turn on them.

I do not mean to imply that David was wrong to have turned on these two cowards. They were misguided in their desire to help the "cause" of the king, but it was not THEIR "fight." How can one find common ground, if they have a whole "army" of folks going after their heads out of some misguided loyalty. We may THINK we know that someone will be grateful when we uphold their cause, but in the end, we probably misunderstood what caused the breach in the first place and in the second place how to mend it, and it certainly will turn itself on us.

Numbers:
Maybe pertinent--maybe not, but I find it interesting that David reigned 40 years as king (same as Saul) and that the first 7 years of his kingship in Judah began when he was age 30 (same as when Jesus began his ministry) and he reigned as king over all Israel and Judah 33 years (the number depicted when Jesus was crucified).

11 more sons; a total of 17 now: I know the caption was "David conquers Jerusalem," but to me the relevant text had to do with 11 more contenders for the throne -- and Solomon was not even born yet!

I wonder how David had time to be a "husband" to his wives, and then I remember that in those days, having a husband was tantamount to having protection: food, clothing, and shelter. I imagine their concept of polygamy was more a matter of "sharing the wealth," instead of our understanding of polygamy today.

idols:
"The Philistines abandoned their idols there, and David and his men carried them off." Why do we not read that they destroyed the idols? Last night I was watching a program on PBS about the people in Bolivia who work the mines. The Spaniards erected idols that they misnamed "Tios" because they did not understand that the word was "Deos" for God, and the "Tios" were considered evil spirits who would punish the miners if they were not paid homage. The devastation that this caused those poor people praying to idols was heartbreaking, and the Christians who tried to teach them about Jesus' love were unable to convey to them that God has more power than those idols.

Uzzah! Uzzah! Uzzah!
For years I struggled with this portion of scripture. It caused me to fear God, and that is a good thing, but I could not understand WHY God would be so harsh with Uzzah when he was protecting the Ark of God; should he have just let it fall off the cart when the oxen stumbled? It was very perplexing to me.

Then my eyes were opened one Sunday while sitting in church and listening to John MacArthur explain that God wants our obedience first, and the emotions will follow. A case of putting the cart before the horse?--or the "oxen" if you will. So many times we have to guard against putting our emotions (feelings) above what we know to be God's will. Only the Levites were allowed to touch the Ark of God, and Uzzah knew this. God was fully capable of protecting his own Ark, but what a hard lesson for all those who saw God strike him dead.

love:

A new "command" Jesus gave to us: "Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another."

This was not a request. So how does Jesus love us? I have seen so many people attempt to define love; I suppose we all have our concepts of what constitutes love, but for me it is summed up in one word: Sacrifice.

I do not believe any mother loves another's child like she loves her own, but it is not just because it issued from her body or was adopted, nor because it was the culmination of her expression of affection for the baby's father. No, that "love" is expression of her diligent service to that child from conception, when she begins to wonder about the future of the child, the anxiety of childbirth, the labor and delivery that require teeth gritting effort and the joy of a beautiful infant, but it does not end there; it goes on to the daily diaper changing, spitting up of food administered during all hours of the night, the daily "sacrifice" of nurturing, teaching, tending...and no one loves your child like you do.

Why?

Because YOU have sacrificed. I think that is one of the reasons we are told to do good to those who hate you and pray for them who despitefully use you.
Matthew 5
43: Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
44: But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
45: That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
46: For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?

In my father's house:
This verse has great significance to me because it was my son's favorite. He would say: "In my father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you."

I believe my son is in one of those mansions now. That gives me great peace.

obey what I command:
How do we really know if someone loves God? "Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me."

"If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching."

"...the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you..."

HOW?
How can we be reminded of everything Jesus has said to us if we do not ever get it in there in the first place? It is one of the reasons I cherish this One Year Bible reading...so that the Holy Spirit can bring it to my remembrance.

Psalm 119

David expounds of the value of the law here; he certainly knows that rulers are gathered together scorning and having contempt for him, but his counselor is God's statutes, and he meditates on the law, seeks understanding (open my eyes that I may see). It reads like a plea to "teach me your decrees" and to understand the teaching of the Lord's precepts that will result in meditation on His wonders. Keeping God's laws has set David's heart free.

Proverbs:
And the Proverbs underscore that we need discipline and rebuke in order to gain understanding.

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