|Posted on February 19, 2020 at 2:25 PM|
The work Jesus left us here to do seems overwhelming at first glance. In John 14:12 he said, “Verily, verily I say unto you, he that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also…” The more we learn about the works he did, especially the miracles, the more overwhelming it seems. But he did not say we are to do the works he did, but, “the works that I do shall he do also”. By this he means that the work he has left us in this world to do is not really based on our own understanding and abilities, but on his. Paul describes our work as that of “members of the body of Christ” controlled, directed, and empowered by the head which is Christ.
The general nature and description of that work was given earlier by Jesus in John 13: 34 as, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” Regardless of the specific details of our work in this world, we know the ultimate purpose will be to love others like Christ. Jesus did not stop expressing the Father’s love for the world when he ascended back into heaven but continues his work through the individual members of his body from then until now. Each believer is called and gifted to do his work of expressing the love of the Father in their own unique way.
Having encouraged his worried disciples concerning their final destination in the Father’s house, Jesus then announced what they would be doing in his absence and went on to promise them the greatest gift a human being could receive from the Father. He promised them “another Comforter”, the Spirit of Truth who would not only be with them but living inside them. Although they had no idea at the time of the comfort and power they would receive from the indwelling Spirit, it is the means by which they and us who remain in this world would do the works of Jesus. He followed up that promise with the statement, “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you” meaning that he, through the indwelling Spirit, would be with them and us as long as we are in this world.
In explaining how they would recognize him even though the world could not Jesus declared, “At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.” This statement of our spiritual union with the Father and Jesus describes the most amazing source of comfort and power to do the work he has left us in this world to do. As Jesus was “in the Father” expressing the love of the Father to the world so we are “in Jesus” doing the work he does. And through the indwelling Spirit of truth, the Comforter, Jesus is in us to direct and empower his work. Because of this spiritual union we are able to “be Christ” to others in this world.
It is doubtful that the first disciples were able to fully grasp all that Jesus taught in the upper room because of their emotional state at the time, but for us these promises and statements by Jesus present a thrilling purpose for our lives in this world. Regardless of our station in life the promise that we will do the works of Christ gives us eternal value and genuine meaning to say nothing of the love, joy, and peace that will follow. It is our privilege to “be Christ” to those around us at home, on the job, and in the community.