"Greater Things Than These"
"Yes, indeed! I tell you that whoever trusts in me will also do the works I do! Indeed, he will do greater ones..."
- John 14:12
The divinity of Jesus is always an interesting topic to get into with people. When we start to talk about Jesus as the Son of God, or Jesus as being God, or the mystery of how Jesus is completely God and completely human at the same time, or - even more confusing - how Jesus is the second "personality" of God amongst the Trinity...most folks' eyes glaze over.
That, or they get very persnickituy about the fact that Jesus IS God and there's no other way around it.
For me, being a minister's son and going into ministry myself (what is wrong with me?), the mystery of Jesus' divinity is an ever-unfolding one for me. As a young person, trying to unpack how Jesus was God, but he was also himself because he prayed to God as "Abba" (Father) and as an entity beyond himself, was a giant headache. As an adult, it still is. Yet I grapple with it more and more as an adult, because now I understand that if I take the quote from John's Gospel above as an authentic quotation of Jesus (which I do), then spending all my time trying to figure out Jesus' divinity is, in Jesus' mind, a huge waste of my time.
Why? Because he tells me that the same divinity that resides within him also resides within me, if I would just trust in that. Beyond that little mind-blower, he also tells me I am capable of doing things not only as he did them, but also greater things.
Yep. Jesus was trying to help people understand that what we regard as profoundly special and unique to him is, in fact, what is profoundly special and unique about all of us. The same Spirit that flowed from him and changed the lives of those around him also flows from you and me. Jesus was trying to help us tap into the amazing well of blessing that is inherent in each of us and start using it. If we did, and we did as Jesus did, we would be living lives far more enriched with:
- Forgiveness; especially for those whom I consider an "enemy" and who persecute me
- Being an advocate for those who have no voice
- Enabling others to tap into their wells, too, and empowering them to live lives likewise
When we do this, and when we do it right, we change lives and make the world (at least our little corners of it) a more loving and whole place.
When we don't, well.....just look around. The evidence of our inability to grasp this is everywhere, and it always breaks my heart. How polarized are we? How nasty do we get on our Tweets and Facebook posts because of differences of opinion on important matters; even with people we don't know? What passes for "dialog" on television and radio news these days? No quest for deeper understanding and common ground, but rather whoever yells the loudest and gets in the last word before the commercial break makes the point.
There is no blessing in all of this, there is no Shalom. There is no indication that anyone even heard what Jesus was trying to share with us about how amazing we are and how incredibly capable each of us is to cure the blindness of the world, to heal its brokenness and help it rise and walk again, and to bring Life into all the myriad places of Death in the world's people and places....
What do you need to stop letting others do to you? Stop letting them make you forget that you are an agent of the most powerful Spirit that has ever entered into this world and that even though we have the free will to decide whether to use it or not, if we profess to be a people of faith and followers of the one known as Jesus of Nazareth, then he himself tells us that we are capable of greater things than even himself and then dares us to boldly live that Truth in our daily living.
Stop letting people make you feel that you are anything less than an amazing, unique, fully-equipped agent of Grace and Compassion that can make a profound difference in the lives of people around you - both friend and stranger - and start living the powerful Truth that is You. Imagine a world in which we lived this way. Jesus did...and he called it The Kingdom of God, and he invited us to be active participants in bringing it to reality through who we are and what we do.